Live DNA repairs

By | June 4, 2008

Live DNA repairs

For the first time a molecule of genetic material was observed in real time, that is able to correct damage in its structure

The repair of a damaged DNA molecules is a mechanism well known in genetics, but so far no one had given testimony in real time. Researchers of the Kavli Institute at the University of Delft, the Netherlands, were able to document at the level of a single molecule of DNA, the homologous recombination, one of the mechanisms of repair frequently put in place by the cells. The work was published in the journal Molecular Cell.

The rupture of the molecule of DNA can be caused, for example, from ultraviolet rays or X-ray, but it can also happen during normal cell division. The type of damage can affect a part of the structure internal molecules, but the cells are equipped with various mechanisms to repair it. If these damages were not immediately corrected, they could lead to changes in functional levels!

The Dutch researchers were able to observe the repai phenomenon through a magnetic field that allows you to push and rotate a single molecule of DNA in the desired position. When the damage is repaired, the position of the molecule changes: in this way, scientists at Delft have managed to observe the repair process in detail.

The possibility to deepen knowledge about these mechanisms is very important especially in the field of oncology, since the formation of a damage to genetic material is a process that can lead to the development of cancer cells. – coolstuff

Leave a Reply