Making a Safer Microbe

April 1977
Time;4/18/1977, Vol. 109 Issue 16, p49
The article focuses on the initiative of geneticist Roy Curtiss III in converting the standard genetic research organism, a strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium, in a mutant variety. He creates an E. coli with a defect in a gene that makes diaminopimelic acid (DAP) to keep the bacteria from manufacturing a complete coat. As the defect proves insufficient, Curtiss deletes another gene involved in the production of DAP. He also develops a safe research bacterium after a few more genetic refinements to come up a more defective microbe for recombinant DNA research.


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