Testing DNA Function Through Gene Transfer

“By 1979, another strategy for searching for elusive tumor oncogenes came online. This new approach did not depend on the knowledge gained about retroviruses. It was an independent strategy made possible by the experimental technique of gene transfer. Simply put, gene transfer made it possible to extract DNA (and thus genes) from one cell and introduce these genes into a second cell. The genes introduced into the recipient cell might cause it to take on new traits or behaviors. Such a response would indicate that the information specifying the newly displayed trait was present in the donor cell (from which the DNA had been prepared) and that this information could be conveyed to a recipient cell by the transfer of DNA molecules.” (p. 38)

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