DNA Replication

By Razib Khan | April 10, 2012 4:37 am

Most of you have probably seen this stylized graphic somewhere along the away (I think it was on PBS at some point). But it’s still cool….


Comments (6)

  1. Darkseid

    I’m as godless as they come but whenever I see this clip its difficult to not ask yourself certain questions. What an amazing process.

  2. DNA replication leads to genetic mutation.An imperfect process means there is no perfect designer. freethoughthiphop.com

  3. Chris

    Simply amazing on two fronts. That this is happening all the time in our bodies and the fact that we can actually show how this is working. Although I always wondered why that second strand has to be put together in such an odd fashion. You’d think it’d be pretty easy to evolve helicase to do one forward and backward rather than twisting the DNA around.

  4. Evan Guiney

    @ Chris

    There’s a really good reason the lagging strand has to be done in such a weird backward fashion, rather than allowing DNA to be polymerized ‘in both directions’; its proofreading. As the polymerase moves along, it sometimes incorporates an incorrect base, and usually catches itself and removes the improperly paired base. It can then try again, and almost always adds the correct letter. (this in itself if insanely awesome.)

    But a polymerase that evolved to elongate “backwards” wouldn’t have this proofreading option, because of the chemistry of the DNA backbone. Chew backwards from the growing end of a DNA strand, and you are always left with a reactive oxygen exposed to add the next base to. But from the other direction, if you chew away, you leave an unreactive phosphate group, to which no further bases can be added. So DNA can only grow in one direction!

  5. The video was new to me. Thanks.

  6. three.Feasibility: analysis around how reasonable the specifications are in phrases of energy, time, charges.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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