ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

transformation (genetics)

Transformation is when one tiny bacterium is able to pick up little pieces of genetic material from another bacterium, kind of like if you were able to grab a toy from your friend and play with it yourself. But, instead of toys, bacteria can pick up useful things called genes that give them new abilities, like being able to survive in a different environment or resist certain medicines. This process is important because it helps bacteria adapt to different situations and can also help scientists create new medicines or vaccines.