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So the thing is, I was getting a bacterial CRISPR kit for biology class, which is overall pretty simple and I'm just doing this for practice, and my dad was saying he was concerned it would accidentally make the non-pathogenic bacteria I was using pathogenic. I told him that it was basically impossible for me to accidentally genetically engineer bacteria to be pathogenic because infectious bacteria need a bunch of adhesins to infect the human body. However, that did make me think, what chances would there be of non-pathogenic bacteria (e coli hme63) becoming pathogenic because of some bacteria in the air getting in the culture and transferring plasmids to become infectious? Again, I don't think this is likely at all, but I would like to ask those with more knowledge than me. Edit: it would appear to me that if it was that easy for bacteria to get what they need to be infectious people would be getting sick a lot more than they are.

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  • $\begingroup$ You have found the reason why genetical work is usually done in confined spaces with defined security measures to avoid even unlikely risks. The CrispR system is safe in this respect, since you need to have some fitting DNA present. The exchange of plasmids however, is a risk which happens in the wild. $\endgroup$ – Chris Aug 15 '16 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ But even so, what would have to happen is infectious bacteria would have to be in the air and get into the container with the non-infectious bacteria while it was getting resistance plasmids and give the non-infectious bacteria all the DNA needed to be able to get into and infect the body. Also, aren't bacteria that grow outside the body not as good growing inside? Like if some bacteria had extra plasmids they would need more nutrients to grow and they would be outcompeted while growing? I'm just saying that under normal circumstances, is it almost impossible? $\endgroup$ – Tom Aug 15 '16 at 18:18

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