Study Guide

The Gene - "Crossing Over" (Part Three) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Summary

In the late 1960s, Paul Berg began experimenting with the SV40 virus. He worked on figuring out how to break into the structure of the viral gene and insert a piece of foreign DNA into the genome. With the techonology he was developing, Berg understood that "genes could be combined to create new combinations, or combinations of combinations; they could be altered, mutated, and shuttled between organisms" (206). In 1970, Berg and his colleagues succeeded in creating DNA hybrids, which he called "recombinant DNA" (207). Not long after, another researcher named Mertz reverted the process to insert the SV40 virus into bacteria. As the bacteria would grow and divide, the new hybrid gene would also be copied as "clones" (208). The confluence of research done by several scientists also found a way to make recombinant DNA out of only bacteria and not viruses, and how...

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This section contains 367 words
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