How the first recombinant DNA was created, Paul Berg
Interviewee: Paul Berg. Paul Berg speaks about his student Janet Mertz's experiment to make the first recombinant DNA molecule. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Techniques > cutting & pasting > Interviews > First recombinant DNA)
The first recombinant DNA made by using enzyme-created sticky ends, cohesion ends, cohesive ends, was actually done by my student, Janet Mertz. She took two different DNAs, each of them had distinguishable properties, mixed them or, or cut them with the enzyme, mixed them, added an enzyme that could join ends to ends, and then showed she had created a molecule that now shared the properties of the two starting materials.
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Paul Berg talks about cohesive (sticky) ends and their significance in genetic engineering.
Paul Berg discusses the usefulness of recombinant DNA to isolate and study genes.
Paul Berg speaks about Herbert Boyer's research into the process by which an organism, such as a bacterium, can recognize and destroy foreign DNA.
Paul Berg's student, Janet Mertz, planned an experiment that would recombine DNA from a monkey virus with DNA from a bacterium that lives in the human gut. Berg describes colleague Bob Pollack's outrage at this.
Restriction enzymes can bind to and cut DNA at specific sites.
Paul Berg talks about possible dangers of recombinant DNA.
Genetic engineering: inserting new DNA into a plasmid vector.
DNA with "sticky ends" can be rejoined and ligated together.
Paul Berg recollects his reaction to his colleague Bob Pollack's opposition to experimentation with recombinant DNA.
James Watson discusses the breakthrough that allowed scientists to cut DNA.