For the first time, bacteria has been seen ‘harpooning’ DNA and absorbing it into itself to speed up its evolution. The breakthrough could help in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Using a microscope and a new dyeing method, scientists observed one of the bacterium’s appendages, which is more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, reaching out and extracting DNA fragments from the surrounding environment. It then incorporated it into its own DNA. The process is known as “horizontal gene transfer.”
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