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    News: genome maintenance

    DNA Mechanics

    Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

    Picture a railroad track, running across the countryside. DNA looks something like that track. Its “rails” are chains of chemicals called nucleotides, each pairing with a partner on the opposite chain to form the “ties.” To ensure timely train traffic – and prevent catastrophic derailments – the railroad track needs regular maintenance. So does DNA. […]

    New DNA Repair Mechanism Discovered

    Thursday, October 7th, 2010

    Tucked within its double-helix structure, DNA contains the chemical blueprint that guides all the processes that take place within the cell and are essential for life. Therefore, repairing damage and maintaining the integrity of its DNA is one of the cell’s highest priorities. Researchers at Vanderbilt University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh […]

    Location Key for Breast Cancer Protein

    Friday, September 17th, 2010

    Mutations in the BRCA1 gene have been implicated in the development of inherited breast cancers. The BRCA1 protein participates in processes including repair of DNA breaks, DNA replication, and cell death. BRCA1 moves between the cell nucleus and cytoplasm, and Fen Xia, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed that active “shuttling” between cellular compartments may […]

    Study Gives Insights into DNA Replication

    Friday, August 13th, 2010

    Like a lawn mower engine that needs to be “primed” before it can be started, the molecular machinery that copies DNA needs a push too. Vanderbilt University investigators have now determined the structure of a critical piece of human DNA primase — the protein that gets DNA replication going. The findings, reported in the Aug. […]