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Comment Re:Observe without interfering? (Score 3, Interesting) 123

A cell does have a defense system of its own. How else would some bacteria have resistance to virii?

One of the ways that molecular biologists knock out genes that they wish to study is by a proccess called RNA inteference. They do this by inserting a peice of DNA with the complementary sequence of the targeted gene. The cell then transcribes both the gene and the opposite gene into mRNA, these two mRNA fragments hybridize forming double stranded RNA. A typical cell never has stranded RNA (virii do cause double stranded RNA though). The cell recognises the double stranded RNA and digests it an enzyme. The beuty of this method is that it can be regulated, instead of knocking the gene out they can reduce the levels of transcription or only knock the gene out once the organism has reached maturity

Prokaryotes have a much simpler method for dealing with foreign DNA. The deal with it by break down any DNA with certain sequences (say ATGA) which would cut on average every 2^4 base pairs

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