center DNA Replication


The replication of a DNA molecule ...

... begins when the two complementary DNA strands are separated. This is usually accomplished by special proteins that unwind the molecule and expose the nucleotide bases.

New complimentary DNA strands are then synthesized by joining together deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates, one at a time, and with the removal of a di-phosphate. Click on the blue dot in the figure above to get a close up of the way in which the bases pair up as the new DNA strand is synthesized.

At the end of the process the cell has made to identical copies of all the biological information contained on the original, parental, DNA molecule, but the two new daughter DNA molecules are "Half old" and "Half new". Half the original DNA molecule is saved, or conserved in the daughter molecules. This is why the process is called semi-conservative.

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© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Professor John Blamire