As if the genetic code itself were not incredible enough, researchers have been finding systems that repair it. There are numerous pathways the cell can embark on to fix DNA errors. Two key players were recently described in more detail in the journal Science.1
A damaged genetic code is worse than a book with typos. Broken or mismatched DNA strands can lead to serious diseases and even death. It is essential that DNA damage be recognized and repaired quickly. ScienceDaily2 reported results by a team at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School that found two essential proteins that act like “molecular tailors” that can snip out an error and sew it back up with the correct molecules. These proteins, FANC1 and FANCD2, repair inter-strand crosslinks, “one of the most lethal types of DNA damage.” This problem “occurs when the two strands of the double helix are linked together, blocking replication and transcription.” Each of your cells is likely to get 10 alarm calls a day for inter-strand crosslinks….
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