Crab disease poses threat to shellfish stocks

Shore crabs carry parasites that pose a major threat to shellfish stocks. In a new study, Swansea University researchers have used several different detection methods, including taking DNA from seawater, to build up the first ...

Histone modifications are the influencers of zygotic genome awakening

The zebrafish is an important model organism in biology. Humans and zebrafish share 70 percent of their genes, and more than 80 percent of human genes associated with disease are known to have a zebrafish counterpart. Additionally, ...

How the influenza virus achieves efficient viral RNA replication

New insights on how subunits of the influenza virus polymerase co-evolve to ensure efficient viral RNA replication are provided by a study published October 3 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Nadia Naffakh of ...

New DNA amplification capsule holds promise for fighting diseases

DNA amplification—a molecular "photocopying" technique where genetic material is replicated—has many applications in scientific research, forensic science, and medical laboratories. It is useful for detecting and identifying ...

New structure for human flu virus protein

Researchers from Oxford University have worked out the molecular structure of a protein that is vital for survival of the flu virus. Recently published in Nature, they used several different techniques to look at the arrangement ...

New rapid DNA test to diagnose chlamydia infection in koalas

A new DNA test to detect chlamydia infection in koalas which can be run in the field and gives on-the-spot results within 30 minutes has been developed in a research collaboration between researchers from Queensland University ...

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Polymerase

A polymerase (EC 2.7.7.6/7/19/48/49) is an enzyme whose central function is associated with polymers of nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA. The primary function of a polymerase is the polymerization of new DNA or RNA against an existing DNA or RNA template in the processes of replication and transcription. In association with a cluster of other enzymes and proteins, they take nucleotides from solvent, and catalyse the synthesis of a polynucleotide sequence against a nucleotide template strand using base-pairing interactions.

It is an accident of history that the enzymes responsible for the catalytic production of other biopolymers are not also referred to as polymerases.

One particular polymerase, from the thermophilic bacterium, Thermus aquaticus (Taq) (PDB 1BGX, EC 2.7.7.7) is of vital commercial importance due to its use in the polymerase chain reaction, a widely used technique of molecular biology.

Other well-known polymerases include:

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