CELLULAR AGING: DNA REPLICATION

WHAT IS DNA?
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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is responsible for storing organisms genetic information. Chromosome (DNA chain) is in the nucleus of the cell. Nucleus is an organelle, which is responsible for cells DNA consists of phosphate nitrogenous bases and Sugar DNA has four pairs of nucleotide bases, which are:  Adenine (A)  Cytosine (C)  Guanine (G)  Thymine (T) The nucleotides are in the centre of DNA. The sides of DNA are made of deoxyribose (sugars) Nucleotides are held with a loose hydrogen bond.

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DNA REPLICATION AND CELL CYCLE

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DNA replication is happening during the cell cycle phase, which is called interphase. What is cell cycle? Cell cycle is the system control, which occurs during the phases of cells growth and division. Cell cycle consists of three phases: interphase, mitosis and Cytokinesis Interphase is a longest phase where cell division is not happening, however cell is growing and chromosomes are replicated Interphase has 3 major phases: G1, S and G2 G1 and G2 are growing phases, and S is the phase where DNA is replicated

DNA REPLICATION
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DNA replication is the process during when DNA replicates, or in other words creates another authentical DNA. DNA antiparallel strands (RNA) are separated by an enzyme Helicase Each single DNA strand binds proteins, which protects each strand from intertwisting. DNA polymerase is the enzyme, which encodes and duplicates RNA DNA consists of leading and lagging stands Leading strand can be replicated directly, however it is different for a lagging strand (because these two strands run opposite way) Leading strand is replicated by DNA polymerase 3, which encodes from strands 5’ to 3’ Lagging strand should be replicated from 5’ to 3’ as well. However it is replicated backwards. RNA primase creates RNA primer sections (okazaki fragment) however at the same time creating a loop DNA polymerase 3 (which lays down new DNA) replicates the loops DNA polymerase 1 replaces RNA primers with DNA DNA ligase binds the okazaki fragments.

CELLULAR AGING
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The RNA primer is removed from the end of the daughter strands 5’ each time DNA replicates. So basically the start of the leading and the end of the lagging strand becomes shorter with a length of one RNA primer each time it is replicated. Each of our DNA contains the telomeres, what is the ends of DNA which protects it from coming apart That means that each time DNA is replicated telomeres become shorter. So when telomeres is completely shortened, cell is unable to divided, what causes the aging of the cell and the death of it, which is called senescence.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
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Figure 1 immortalhumans.com (2009), [online] http://www.immortalhumans.com/telomere-shorteningand-damage/ [accessed 24/04/2012] Figure 2 wheatandtares.org (2011), [online] http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/09/28/science-religion15-was-adam-part-neanderthal-a-dna-primer/ [accessed 24/04/2012] Figure 3 learninglab.co.uk (unknown), [online] http://learninglab.co.uk/headstart/cycle3.htm [accessed 24/04/2012] Figure 4 biochem.arizona.edu (unknown), [online] http://www.biochem.arizona.edu/classes/bioc462/462bh2008/462bhonorsprojects/462bhonors1999/bent ley/background.html [accessed 24/04/2012] Figure 5 ssafe-food.net, (unknown), [online] http://www.ssafe-food.net/28-dna-diet.html [accessed 24/04/2012]

BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Berry, Drew (2012) Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology, Ted talks conference [online] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFCvkkDSfIU&feature=player_embedded#! [accessed 24/04/2012] Biochem.arizona.edu (unknown), [online] http://www.biochem.arizona.edu/classes/bioc462/462bh2008/462bhonorsprojects/462bhonors1999/bent ley/background.html [accessed 24/04/2012]