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DNA REPLICATION WHAT IS DNA DNA is a molecule that has a repeating chain of identical five-carbon sugars polymers linked together from head to tail It is composed of four ring shaped organic bases nucleotides which are Adenine A Guanine G Cytosine C and Thymine T It has a double helix shape and contains the sugar component deoxyribose THE PROCESS OF DNA REPLICATION How DNA replicates is quite a simple process First a DNA molecule is unzipped In other words it splits into two strands of DNA at one end of the DNA molecule This separation will cause a formation of a replication fork After the replication fork has been established the strands of DNA are ready for the next stage On each strand is a sequence of nucleotides These nucleotides act as a template for complementary nucleotides to bind Hence it is the site where the synthesis of a new complementary strand will be formed Because of the DNA unzipping there will be two single strands of DNA Hence because there is two single strands of DNA there will be two new daughter strands synthesized However each of these daughter cells is synthesized in different ways The first strand of DNA is built by simply adding nucleotides to its end This strand grows inward towards the replication fork as the DNA molecule unzips This strand ends with a hydroxide OH group and is called the 3 prime or 3end The enzyme that catalyzes this process is called DNA polymerase The second strand is built by having a polymerase jump ahead on the strand and fill in the complementary nucleotides backwards This strand moves in the outward direction hence away from the replication fork The DNA polymerase for this strand starts a burst of synthesis at the point of the replication fork The addition of nucleotides to the 3 end of a short new
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