An ambitious EC-funded research initiative on epigenetics advancing towards systems biology 168

Response written by: Elphège Nora, PhD – postdoctoral researcher in Edith Heard's laboratory, Institut Curie

Video on DNA Replication
Video on DNA replication process

However don't forget that the nucleus is a crowded place and DNA polymerases are not just floating around. The constantly bump into many, many other molecules, which can actually affect how replication initiates or proceeds. This is an area of very intense research. Also not just humans need to replicate DNA; by definition, all living organisms do it—even the simplest bacteria! Nowadays we understand enough about this process that we can recreate part of it in test tubes in the lab, to make many copies of DNA from a few molecules. In fact, I just did it today; all I needed to mix was a DNA template with the DNA polymerase in a proper water-based chemical buffer plus a few molecules that we chemically synthesized. You can find more information about this amazing experiment by searching for “Polymerase Chain Reaction” on the web.