The Scientist Speaks – Rising From the Dead: How Antibiotic Resistance Genes Travel Between Current and Past Bacteria

Scientists have known for a long time that microbes can take up extracellular DNA fragments, and they have leveraged this transformation process to genetically modify bacteria in the lab. However, transformation is quite fickle and depends on creating the right balance of reagent concentrations and cellular conditions. How this process takes place outside of the petri dish, in more natural bacterial environments such as soil, has proven more difficult to determine. 

In this episode, Nele Haelterman from The Scientist’s Creative Services Team spoke with Heather Kittredge, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut, and Sarah Evans, an associate professor of integrative biology at Michigan State University, to learn more about natural transformation in bacteria and its implications for the rise in antibiotic resistance. 

Source: the-scientist.com

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