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Competent cells are bacteria which have been treated with chemicals and which are able to take up external DNA.

Competent cells are chemicalls treated bacteria which can take up external DNA. This can either happen with a heat-shock (incubating the cells for a short while at 42°C) or by electroporation (subjecting the cells to an electric shock). Both procedures open up pores in the cell membrane which the DNA can pass.

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