Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thank you evolution

While a substantial amount of human ingenuity has gone into developing the molecular techniques employed in modern biology, all of these tools have at their root genes and gene products provided to us by the organisms we study. The DNA polymerase used in PCR was isolated from a hyperthermophilic bacteria, the reverse transcriptases used to make expression libraries come courtesy of RNA viruses and the multitude of cloning vectors, transposons and antibiotic cassettes are all derived from DNA isolated from natural sources. Other examples are luminescent compounds from fireflies or soft corals and fluorescent proteins from jellyfish.

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