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Latest Computer Model to Untangle Knotty Issues in DNA

The scientists explained that DNA can get twisted like a pair of an ear buds. In some cases this tangled DNA needs to be cut, stated the scientists. A team of mathematicians, biologists and computer scientists has revealed how E. coli bacteria can unlink tangled DNA by a local reconnection process.

The scientists stated that the E. coli bacteria can cause intestinal disease. Additionally, E. coli's genome is a single circle of double-stranded DNA. Before an E. coli cell divides, that circle is copied. Opening up the double helix to copy it throws twisting strains elsewhere down the molecule, just as uncoiling a cord in one place will make it over-coil somewhere else.

 The entire process results in two tangled loops of DNA that pass through each other like a "magic rings" trick, added the scientists. To untangle the ring, E. coli uses an enzyme known as topoisomerase IV. This enzyme precisely cuts a DNA segment and allows the loops to pass through the break and then reseals the break. The result, lately published in Scientific Reports, could have implications far beyond biology.

 By: Priyanka Negi


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