Short Bytes: Sweden’s Tomas Lindahl, the US’s Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar collectively won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2015 for their discoveries in the field of natural DNA repair. This new discovery enlightens our hope for advancement in the treatment of new treatment for endless diseases and even cancer.
They defined that organisms are able to survive at all because they have very specialzed processes involving cascades of enzymes, which detect DNA damage and perform a triage-like step-by-step repair.
The diagram below explains the same:
The human body is made up of trillions of living cells, each containing DNA that carries the thousands of genetic instructions which are required to run the body. However, the DNA being an unstable molecule undergoes changes every day. Also, pollutants and harmful UV rays damage DNA.
Then, how is regeneration and continued survival of species still possible?
Take a look at this:
Dr. Lindahl, Dr. Modrich and Dr. Sancar collectively explained the reason behind the continued survival through specialized processes about cascading of enzymes. They detect the DNA damage and also perform a triage-like step by step repair.
Here are their individual contributions that won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry:
- Dr. Lindahl: defied orthodoxy about DNA stability. He proved that the if the colomex module would deteriorate so fast on its own, then the regeneration on Earth would almost be impossible. Hence, he proposed the theory about molecular systems constant counteracting DNA collapse
- Dr. Sancar: mapped out how cells repair DNA damage caused due to exposure to ultraviolet light. People may even develop skin cancer if born with defects in this system.
- Dr. Modrich: showed that how the errors that arise during DNA replication can be fixed by cellular machinery. This reduces the frequency of mistakes ( by approximately a 1000). A hereditary variant of colon cancer is caused by defects of this system.
What’s more is that with this new progress and deep understanding of DNA repair and basic biochemical level, the application of them being endless and profound. We can, not only be optimistic about the development of new treatment for endless diseases which have an effect on human DNA, but also hope for advances in cancer treatments (as many anti-cancer drugs have a damaging effect in DNA)- something that the world has been looking up to past some time now.
We at fossBytes congratulate all the Nobel laureates for their outstanding contribution to the respective fields.
What do you think about this new advancement in the field of DNA repair? Tell us in the comments below.