🧫 DNA Replication (CCEA)

DNA, of course, replicates. Why? It’s a pretty crucial element in the reproduction of living things. For example, a bacterium replicates by splitting itself into 2 (binary fission). The DNA must stay intact and be copied with a high degree of accuracy in order for the two newly formed bacteria to develop and function as their parent – adequately. In multi-cellular organisms such as ourselves, DNA replication occurs as a prelude to cell division.

 

For such a complex molecule, past scientists have had a challenging time working out the precise mechanism by which DNA replicates. Three hypotheses were made: (for this purpose imagine one DNA molecule)

 

1. The DNA molecule replicates by providing itself as a template for a brand new shiny DNA molecule, and then remaining its own intact DNA molecule. This is called the conservative replication model.

 

2. The DNA molecule replicates by providing itself as a template and being modified itself throughout, resulting in 2 new DNA molecules with patches of the old parent DNA molecule combined with patches of brand new material. This is called the dispersive…