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Bacteria and traits for microbiology


 As you will recall from this unit’s readings, bacteria have the ability to obtain traits from other bacteria simply by picking up DNA fragments from donor bacterial cells. In this manner, they acquire traits that can enhance their pathogenicity (such as toxin production) or enhance their survival (such as antibiotic resistance) for example.

This week, you will imagine that you have been elected President of the United States (congratulations!). Shortly after your term begins, you are approached by a league of scientists that have discovered a way for humans to obtain genetic traits from other organisms the same way bacteria do. Of course, it will be on a voluntary basis, and nobody will be forced to obtain any new traits. After consulting with your counsel, you decide that humans will be allowed to acquire 2 new traits from any other living organism on Earth. YOU must decide which 2 new traits humans will be able to acquire. Follow the guidelines below to outline your plan. Include all answers in your initial post.

The discussion board is a great place to learn in an interactive environment, so be sure to participate actively in the weekly discussion. By doing so, the entire class benefits from the discussion and learning is significantly enhanced. To receive full credit for your posts, be sure that your posts are at least 50 words long and provide solid details or examples that move the discussion forward. It is highly recommended that you draft your responses in a Word document so that you may spell-check your post. You can then copy and paste your response into the discussion. This will also allow you to save your responses should you get timed out or experience other technical difficulties.

As always, be sure to provide appropriate citations, references, and links to any information you use in this discussion. Be sure also to avoid copying and pasting anything longer than a line or two from any given source—posts must always be made up of your own words. For help with citations, refer to the APA Quick Reference.


  1. Which 2 traits have you decided to allow humans to acquire and why?
  2. Bacteria acquire traits through genetic recombination using one of three methods: Conjugation, Transformation, and Transduction. For each of the traits you have chosen, explain which method humans will use to acquire their new traits (is it through Conjugation, Transformation, or Transduction?) Briefly explain how the transfer process will work.
  3. Experts anticipate some backlash from the public regarding the genetic manipulation of the human genome. How will you address this backlash? How will you justify your support for this genetic recombination project?

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