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quick question

Ulrich Melcher umelcher at biochem.okstate.edu
Mon Feb 24 10:07:34 EST 1997

What I tell my students is:  when folks started putting DNA into
mammalian cells, the word "transformation" was already in use in
mammalian cell work and referred to cells becoming anchorage independent
in their growth (cancerous, if you will).  As a result, what is
"transformation" in bacteria had to be called something else with
mammalian cell cultures.  "Transfection" has thus been used.

Bernard Murray wrote:
> In article <tyr-2-2202971729040001 at news.srv.ualberta.ca>,
> tyr-2 at bones.biochem.ualberta.ca says...
> >
> >In article <geha-2202971604390001 at>, geha at hsc.usc.edu (Rani
> >Geha) wrote:
> >> What is the difference between transfection and transformation?
> >
> >Roughly speaking it is the host
> >Transfection = eukaryotic host
> >Transformation = prokaryotic host
> >...and as to yeast I've seen both terms used.
> >Cheers
> >Karl the hepB guy
> >--
> >Karl Fischer
> >tyr-2 at bones.biochem.ualberta.ca
> Wow, it seems as though everyone has their own idea.  Just to give
> another interpretation;
> Transformation: Stable transfer of DNA to host
> (so plasmid into bacteria, episomal or integrated plasmid in
> eukaryotic cells)
> Transfection: Transient transfer of DNA to host
> (plasmid into mammalian cells that is expressed but not selected)
> The key thing is that transformed DNA is replicated and *inherited*
> during cell division (rather than just segregated).
> I fully admit that this is just the definition I had picked up
> locally.  If the concensus is that this is wrong I'm prepared to
> give in (ie. transform my opinion).
>         Now if you want to get a real argument going around here
> try "the difference between run-on and run-off transcription...".
>         Bernard
> Bernard Murray, Ph.D.
> bernard at elsie.nci.nih.gov (National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda MD, USA)

Ulrich Melcher                 umelcher at biochem.okstate.edu
Department of Biochemistry     
  and Molecular Biology        Tel: 405-744-6210
246 NRC                        FAX: 405-744-7799
Oklahoma State University     
Stillwater OK 74078-3035 USA   

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