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DNA decay

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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DNA decay

Postby mith » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:26 am

What are the current theories on DNA preservation? As we all know DNA breaks down during life due to free radicals, errors in genetic code etc...Is there a way for doctors/biologists to somehow lessen or even stop the degradation, short of eating 13 lemons and popping 20 multivitamins a day?
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mutation?

Postby 2810712 » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:01 am

What do U mean by degradation? -mutations? Then stopping them is stopping evolution.
We may reduce them to their natural number . What do U think?

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Postby Poison » Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:27 pm

vitamins are antioxidants. thats why doctors say that they are good -if they are taken in the right amount. For example some vitamins can act as peroxidants if they are taken too much.
I think nothing can stop mutations. even reducing them is hard ,looking at the envionment we live in. Isnt it? :roll:
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Postby mith » Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:52 am

Well I mean are there any scientists who are experimenting with say...developing an enzyme that works like a better DNA proofreader?
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Postby canalon » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:06 pm

Well I mean are there any scientists who are experimenting with say...developing an enzyme that works like a better DNA proofreader?


Increased proofreading ability is not everything. And an increased proofreading activity may not be the correct answer. Consider this:
In bacteria sterptomycin is an antibiotic that acts on the ribosomes and scrw up it's specificty, thus leading to the death of the bacteria. Some bacteria have evolved a ribosome with a better proofreading ability wich allow the survival of the bacteria in presence of strep. But when the antibiotic is absent the ribosome become so slow that the bacteria dies! It has become strep dependant.
This is to say that the fidelity has a price, and that there is a trade off between mutation rate and replication speed.

In addition there are a lot of enzymes whose role is to repair damaged DNA or incorrect pairing. In bacteria (I'm a bacteriologist, but I know you could find homologous genes in eucaryotes :D ) you could make search on RecA, the Mut gene family, photolyase and probably much more.

Hope this help
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Postby mith » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:37 pm

That is an interesting point about biology, it's very linear. But I know that evolution can proceed in different ways than this. For example, multi-drug resistant TB does not seem to work slower due to all the extra defensive packages it is carrying. Also when TB becomes resistant to one drug, it does not lose its resistance to other drugs but retains them also. But I do wonder if there is a critical point where in order to be resistant to X number of drugs, some old resistances become incompatible.
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Postby Dr.Doom » Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:02 am

Perserving DNA ?? Do you mean limiting mutation or keeping the whole DNA throughout your life? Well the thing is even without mutation, human DNA will change throughout one's life time. DNA shortens after every round of replication due to the problem with the orientation of the telomeres and the limitation of the DNA polymerase. This shortening can be prevented if the enzyme telmerase is present, but introduction of this enzyme into the cell will cause cancer;therefore, keeping DNA at its full length is still a problem and if we get this worked out, maybe we don't have to age any more.
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