is a disease of damaged genes," Kowalczykowski said. "If
DNA repair is defective, you become cancer-prone. In principle,
if you repair the genes, you could stop this process."
is working with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
to understand this process, particularly the repair of double-stranded
DNA breaks and how enzymes fix these breaks.
body already knows the most accurate way to fix bad genes; it's
called homologous recombinatorial repair. Enzymes known as genetic
recombination proteins scan DNA for damaged genes, then fix them
by making a good copy of the gene and swapping out the bad gene
for the good one. It's called homologous because the enzymes put
the repaired gene back into the chromosome in exactly the same places
as the damaged one.
happens automatically - usually.
enzymes patch up DNA," said Kowalczykowski. "The process
is 99 percent accurate."
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Bianco, a researcher in Stephen Kowalczy-
kowski's lab, uses a laser beam to create optical 'tweezers' capable
of moving a one-millimeter polystyrene bead.