New technology can detect antivirus antibody in 20 minutes

Researchers have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. If a suitable reagent is developed, ...

Genetic barcodes can ensure authentic DNA fingerprints

Engineers at Duke University and the New York University's Tandon School of Engineering have demonstrated a method for ensuring that an increasingly popular method of genetic identification called "DNA fingerprinting" remains ...

How the coronavirus multiplies its genetic material

When someone becomes infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen proliferates rapidly in the cells of the infected person. To do so, the virus has to multiply its genetic material, which consists of a single ...

COVID-19 puts new science to the pressure test

By its very nature, science rarely offers a quick fix. New technologies and medicines often take years to prove that they are safe and effective. Yet the surging COVID-19 pandemic is forcing scientists to condense this process ...

New COVID-19 test quickly and accurately detects viral DNA

Millions of people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, most using a kit that relies on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This sensitive method amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of ...

Discovery of entirely new class of RNA caps in bacteria

The group of Dr. Hana Cahová of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS, in collaboration with scientists from the Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, has discovered an entirely new class of dinucleoside ...

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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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