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Bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) are DNA vectors for the transport of long sequences of DNA into bacterial cells. BACs can contain DNA inserts of 70-350 kilo-bases (kb) compared to traditional molecular cloning vectors that accommodate up to 15 kb. BACs contain a gene that allows them to partition equally between daughter cells after bacterial division which increases their stability in host cells. The long DNA inserts are created by fragmenting genomic DNA or generating recombinant DNA (rDNA) through an appropriate cloning method. The DNA fragments are inserted into the BAC and transported into bacterial cells. The complete BAC is replicated and purified from the cells. BACs are used for genome sequencing projects, the creation of transgenic animals (often for the study of genetic diseases), and viral disease studies by creating a BAC containing an entire and infectious viral genome. (Credit: Brooke Anderson-White)
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