A new technique for correcting disease-causing mutations

Gene editing, or purposefully changing a gene's DNA sequence, is a powerful tool for studying how mutations cause disease, and for making changes in an individual's DNA for therapeutic purposes. A novel method of gene editing ...

Oncology & Cancer

When cancer cells 'put all their eggs in one basket'

Normal cells usually have multiple solutions for fixing problems. For example, when DNA becomes damaged, healthy white blood cells can use several different strategies to make repairs. But cancer cells may "put all their ...


New class of drug gives hope to some ovarian cancer patients

A study published today in Nature Communications shows that the drug rucaparib has been effective in treating certain types of ovarian cancers if used early in treatment, after a diagnosis, and before the cancer cells build ...

Oncology & Cancer

New cancer algorithm flags genetic weaknesses in tumors

A new way to identify tumors that could be sensitive to particular immunotherapies has been developed using data from thousands of NHS cancer patient samples sequenced through the 100,000 Genomes Project. The MMRDetect clinical ...

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DNA repair

DNA repair refers to a collection of processes by which a cell identifies and corrects damage to the DNA molecules that encode its genome. In human cells, both normal metabolic activities and environmental factors such as UV light and Radiation can cause DNA damage, resulting in as many as 1 million individual molecular lesions per cell per day. Many of these lesions cause structural damage to the DNA molecule and can alter or eliminate the cell's ability to transcribe the gene that the affected DNA encodes. Other lesions induce potentially harmful mutations in the cell's genome, which affect the survival of its daughter cells after it undergoes mitosis. Consequently, the DNA repair process is constantly active as it responds to damage in the DNA structure.

The rate of DNA repair is dependent on many factors, including the cell type, the age of the cell, and the extracellular environment. A cell that has accumulated a large amount of DNA damage, or one that no longer effectively repairs damage incurred to its DNA, can enter one of three possible states:

The DNA repair ability of a cell is vital to the integrity of its genome and thus to its normal functioning and that of the organism. Many genes that were initially shown to influence lifespan have turned out to be involved in DNA damage repair and protection. Failure to correct molecular lesions in cells that form gametes can introduce mutations into the genomes of the offspring and thus influence the rate of evolution.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA