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SMB: A new paradigm for how genes are read – ‘the elongation-first hypothesis’

26 January 2011

All living things, with their myriad variations, use an almost identical microscopic machine to read their genes. This machine – RNA polymerase – is responsible for a process called transcription, which by producing RNA from DNA, takes the first step in reading the blueprint of life that is encoded in all of our genes.

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Recent work funded by the Biotechnology andBiological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) indicates that this machine may have worked in a different way in prehistoric species than was previously thought.

The research is published in the February 2011 issue of Nature Reviews Mircobiology.

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