Monday, June 13, 2016

interesting facts from molecular biology


Interesting facts from Molecular Biology - Part 1: DNA Replication and Repair..............

"DNA replication is extremely accurate. Typically, the replication machinery makes one mistake in every 10 to the 10th base pairs synthesized."

Editorial comment:  Wow.  That Mama Nature -- she is a freakin' genius........................

In the video lecture I embedded in the previous post, they talk about how the structure of DNA is (in my words) elegant and efficient.  The shape and construction seem sort of ... inevitable, and lend themselves to ... correct use, and accurate replication.  Can't wait to hear what we learn about repair!

Continuing to listen/watch.  On the other hand..........

"We have a genome of 3 times 10 to the ninth base pairs. So that means we make a mistake about one every three cell divisions. But it's worth keeping in mind, most of those 10 to the 10th base pairs are not coding and are not that important to be correct. But if it's in the middle of a coding region, it changes the amino acid and the protein, it can be a problem. So we're pretty much full of errors is one way to think about it. Even under the best of circumstances, we have thousands and thousands of errors."

Ouch.  Sobering.............. 

I suppose, though, that it still means Mama N. is a freakin' genius, because somehow most of us manage to keep on walking and chewing gum at the same time for years and years, despite all the errors. !!!

In all of these classes about biological function, I am always left boggled that we ever managed to replicate one strand of DNA, nevermind figuring out how to be a whole functioning cell.  Nevermind figuring out how to cooperate with other cells to the extent that we could crawl out of the primordial slime. 

Nevermind walk OR chew gum, let alone both at the same time!


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