Genes in Space-3 successfully identifies unknown microbes in space

Being able to identify microbes in real time aboard the International Space Station, without having to send them back to Earth for identification first, would be revolutionary for the world of microbiology and space exploration. ...

A mutational timer is built into the chemistry of DNA

If you had to copy billions of letters from one sheet of paper to another, you'd probably make a few mistakes. So it might not come as a surprise that when DNA makes a copy of its three-billion-base genetic code, it can slip ...

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

Scientists tease DNA from eggshell of extinct birds

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a world first, scientists in Australia announced on Wednesday they had extracted DNA from the fossilised eggshells of extinct birds, including iconic giants such as the moa and elephant bird.

Scientists observe single gene activity in living cells

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have for the first time observed the activity of a single gene in living cells. In an unprecedented study, published in the April 22 online edition ...

Nanoparticles simplify DNA identification and quantification

In an article published in Small, researchers successfully applied a new qualitative and quantitative method for the detection of a DNA sequence characteristic of Leishmania infantum kinetoplast, a frequent parasite in veterinary ...

Origins of genomic 'dark matter' discovered

A duo of scientists at Penn State University has achieved a major milestone in understanding how genomic "dark matter" originates. This "dark matter"—called non-coding RNA—does not contain the blueprint for making proteins ...

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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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