DNA repli­ca­tion

APC Australia - - Feature » Computing With A Double Helix -

DNA repli­cates it­self in cell divi­sion via the poly­merase chain re­ac­tion, which is also key to some DNA-com­put­ing ar­chi­tec­tures. Repli­ca­tion starts with the dou­ble helix un­zip­ping it­self by break­ing the hy­dro­gen bonds that keep the two strands to­gether. As the two strands start to sep­a­rate, the now un-bonded bases are free to bond to bases in other nu­cleo­tides.

So long as there are free nu­cleo­tides around, this is ex­actly what hap­pens, but only nu­cleo­tides with the com­ple­men­tary bases can cre­ate new hy­dro­gen bonds. So As and Ts at­tract each other, as do Cs and Gs and, in so do­ing, both strands of the orig­i­nal DNA bond to the nu­cleo­tides nec­es­sary to re­place the miss­ing com­ple­men­tary strand. In time, this process pro­duces two DNA mol­e­cules iden­ti­cal to the orig­i­nal one.

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