Iowa Board of Regents

Biologists Unravel Full Sequence of DNA Repair Mechanism

Every living organism has DNA, and every living organism engages in DNA replication, the process by which DNA makes an exact copy of itself during cell division. While it’s a tried-and-true process, problems can arise.

Break-induced replication (BIR) is a way to solve those problems. In humans, it is employed chiefly to repair breaks in DNA that cannot be fixed otherwise. Yet BIR itself, through its repairs to DNA and how it conducts those repairs, can introduce or cause genomic rearrangements and mutations contributing to cancer development.

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