The advantages and disadvantages of bacteria

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The advantages and disadvantages of bacteria

The advantages of bacteria for genetic Engineering are firstly economic- they contain a valuable source of enyzmes  Bacteria produce more enzyme molecules in relation to their mass than most other organisms. The product yield can be increased by means of strain selection, mutation and optimisation of growth conditions. They are easy to manipulate genetically and can be subjected to gene transfer techniques. Secondly there is an environmental/economic advantage of bacteria- they can occupy a great variety of habitats and extremes of conditions, so their enzymes function in an enourmous range of PH and temperature. ("A New Introduction to Biology")

Environmentally the bacteria used in genetic engineering chosen do not produce toxins or offensive odours and are non-pathogenic. Bacteria may be of great benefit to the environment, as they may be used in the future to break up oil slicks in a technique known as bioremediation.  Bacteria can also be used for biological pest control - some bacterium are toxic to a particular pest species.

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In biotechnological applications, bacteria are cultured usually by batch-fermentation on a large scale to produce chemical products such as vitamins and enzymes in industrial quantities. (The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia)


Bacteria can be genetically modified and bacteria may banish tooth decay. According to dental researcher Jeffrey Hillman at the University of Florida in Gainesville

a mouthful of genetically modified bacteria could keep tooth decay away for life. The scheme involves replacing your mouth's natural cavity-causing bacteria with GM bacteria designed to prevent tooth decay. By inhibiting Streptococcus mutans that convertsugar to lactic acid and slowly etch away the ...

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