Natural competence  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In microbiology, genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, competence is the ability of a cell to alter its genetics by taking up extracellular ("naked") DNA from its environment in the process called transformation. Competence may be differentiated between natural competence, a genetically specified ability of bacteria which is thought to occur under natural conditions as well as in the laboratory, and induced or artificial competence, which arises when cells in laboratory cultures are treated to make them transiently permeable to DNA. Competence allows for rapid adaptation and DNA repair of the cell. This article primarily deals with natural competence in bacteria, although information about artificial competence is also provided.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Natural competence" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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