Related topics: cancer cells · chromosomes · dna damage

Unearthing how a carnivorous fungus traps and digests worms

A new analysis sheds light on the molecular processes involved when a carnivorous species of fungus known as Arthrobotrys oligospora senses, traps and consumes a worm. Hung-Che Lin of Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, and ...

Team proposes a new view on euchromatin in the cell

Scientists studying cells have long held the view that euchromatin, the part of chromatin that is made up of genes and is genetically active, is open and can be transcribed. A research team, looking at new evidence from genomics ...

Study identifies new mechanisms driving genomic instability

A recent Northwestern Medicine study published in the Journal of Cell Biology has identified new mechanisms that cause genomic or chromosomal instability during cell division, findings that may improve the development of ...

Researchers shed new light on the motor of DNA replication

DNA replication is the process whereby cells make an exact copy of their DNA before cell division. A key part of the intricate DNA replication machinery is a molecular motor called CMG, which has the vital task of separating ...

DNA packaging supports cell division, finds study

The DNA molecule is located in the cell nucleus as a densely packed complex of DNA and protein, known as chromatin. Wrapped in sections around a core of special proteins known as histones, the DNA forms so-called nucleosomes, ...

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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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