Monday, October 08, 2007

The Rad54 Gene

A Science Daily article with the title Gene For Neat Repair Of DNA Discovered, describes a gene which enhances the efficiency of DNA repair. Less efficient repair of damaged DNA in somatic cells can lead to cancer. It also leads to genetic diseases in germline cells. The gene in question goes by the name Rad54. As the article notes the Rad54 gene prevents mutations by enabling more precise repairs.

DNA repair is so critical that organisms have multiple mechanisms to accomplish it. Some act as redundant back-ups but when all else fails the ultimate solution - cellular suicide- can be an effective strategy. Cellular suicide is known as apoptosis and involves its own mechanisms and signaling pathways. It is also the ultimate back-up system.

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