Related topics: cancer cells · chromosomes · dna damage

The unchanging viscosity of cells

The only thing that appears to be unchanging in living cells is that they are constantly changing. However, scientists from the IPC PAS have managed to show that there is a certain parameter that does not change. It's their ...

Method triggers selective degradation of proteins for analysis

Scientists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have developed a tool to eliminate essential proteins from cells with a flash of light. The new method makes it possible to study the function of essential proteins.

Coordination by remote control

Protein filament systems within cells are subject to constant reorganization, which is in part mediated by the actions of motor proteins. LMU researchers have now shown that motor-driven movements can propagate through such ...

How bacteria control their cell cycle

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated how bacteria coordinate cell division with the replication of their genetic material. In an interdisciplinary study they explain why the current concept ...

Coordinating the removal of RNA-DNA hybrids

Two research teams led by Professors Brian Luke and Helle Ulrich at the Institute of Molecular Biology have deciphered how two enzymes, RNase H2 and RNase H1, are coordinated to remove RNA-DNA hybrid structures from chromosomes. ...

Completing DNA synthesis

The final stage of DNA replication—"termination"—occurs when two DNA copy machines advance upon each other and unwind the final stretch of DNA. This process occurs about 60,000 times per human cell cycle and is crucial ...

Scientists unwind mystery behind DNA replication

The molecules of life are twisted. But how those familiar strands in DNA's double helix manage to replicate without being tangled up has been hard to decipher. A new perspective from Cornell physicists is helping unravel ...

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DNA replication

DNA replication, the basis for biological inheritance, is a fundamental process occurring in all living organisms to copy their DNA. This process is "semiconservative" in that each strand of the original double-stranded DNA molecule serves as template for the reproduction of the complementary strand. Hence, following DNA replication, two identical DNA molecules have been produced from a single double-stranded DNA molecule. Cellular proofreading and error-checking mechanisms ensure near perfect fidelity for DNA replication.

In a cell, DNA replication begins at specific locations in the genome, called "origins". Unwinding of DNA at the origin, and synthesis of new strands, forms a replication fork. In addition to DNA polymerase, the enzyme that synthesizes the new DNA by adding nucleotides matched to the template strand, a number of other proteins are associated with the fork and assist in the initiation and continuation of DNA synthesis.

DNA replication can also be performed in vitro (outside a cell). DNA polymerases, isolated from cells, and artificial DNA primers are used to initiate DNA synthesis at known sequences in a template molecule. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a common laboratory technique, employs such artificial synthesis in a cyclic manner to amplify a specific target DNA fragment from a pool of DNA.

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