Study: Gene discovered in Georgia water a possible global threat

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Is this the country georgia or the US state georgia?


Can we go 10 minutes without an apocalyptic discovery


By “sewer water in Georgia” they mean the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta


Some of those comments from the scientists have the stereotypical “scientist pleading their case before dystopia arrives”. Great


Could somebody explain this bit from the article: “Further complicating the issue is the way that the gene is spread. It transmits in plasmids, which are strands of DNA found inside cells that can replicate on their own, independent of the cell.” Are they suggesting that plasmids just replicate in the environment without being inside a cell / utilizing its machinery? Or is it just a poorly worded way of saying that plasmids within a cell can replicate regardless of whether that cell is replicating? I get lateral gene transfer / uptake between bacteria, but if they are saying there’s a plasmid that can just self-replicate independent of cells, I’d like to know more about it.