when you stick foreign (exogenous) genetic information (like DNA) into eukaryotic cells (cells with membrane-bound “rooms” like nuclei inside) – things like animal cells). It’s a form of transformation, but we call it transfection so it doesn’t get confused with tumor transformation (just gets confused with why its called something different…). The DNA we stick in can contain instructions for making proteins we want, etc. Transfection can be with viral or nonviral delivery methods. With viral delivery methods you can stick DNA you want into a harmless virus such as a weakened adenovirus and then have that virus infect the cells and sneak in that DNA. With nonviral delivery methods, you can use things like electroporation (using electricity to open pores in cells) and cationic and/or lipid transfection agents (which hide the DNA’s negative charge and help it can sneak into the cell).
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