^^ The prophage may leave the host DNA and enter the lytic cycle.
Viruses: Tools for Biotechnology
The virus life cycle makes viruses important research tools. A researcher can replace large pieces of the DNA of a phage with DNA of particular interest, such as the human gene for cystic fibrosis. The researcher can then insert this recombinant DNA into empty phage heads and allow these viruses to infect bacteria. As the virus grows over and over through the lytic cycle, the number of copies of the foreign gene increases until millions of copies are available for study. Bacteriophages have also been invaluable tools for medical research.
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