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© Image 2015 YouTube
Plasmid Vector Example © 2015 Wikipedia
vector is a DNA molecule used as a vehicle to artificially carry foreign genetic material into another cell. A vector containing foreign DNA is called recombinant DNA. Common to all engineered vectors are an origin of replication, a multicloning site, and a selectable marker. The four major types of vectors are:

The vector itself is generally a DNA sequence that consists of an insert (transgene) and a larger sequence that serves as the "backbone" of the vector. The purpose of a vector which transfers genetic information to another cell is typically to isolate, multiply, or express the insert in the target cell. Vectors called expression vectors (expression constructs) specifically are for the expression of the transgene in the target cell, and generally have a promoter sequence that drives expression of the transgene. Simpler vectors called transcription vectors are only capable of being transcribed but not translated: they can be replicated in a target cell but not expressed, unlike expression vectors. Transcription vectors are used to amplify their insert, e.g. tell the cell to produce more of a particular substance when it is already about to produce it

Insertion of a vector into the target cell is usually called transformation for bacterial cells, transfection for eukaryotic cells, although insertion of a viral vector is often called transduction.

Technology in detail

Here we should add even more...

Historical development

Recombinant DNA was pretty much the first method to artificially design DNA. We should write a bit about the technology's significance.

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About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.