Bacteria were the original forms of life to appear on earth some four billion years ago, while our own tenure on the planet goes back no more than a few million years. With that kind of head start, it should not be surprising that bacteria have developed some impressive biochemical tricks to ensure their very lengthy survival. For our part, we have proved to be adept at turning some of these natural processes to our own advantage, perhaps never more so than when we recently got bacteria to show us how to re-write the fundamental chemical code of all living things.
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