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What is DNA replication? What is its significance?

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DNA replication is the basis of biological inheritance in all living beings. The process gives rise to two identical replicas of the original DNA molecule. Replication begins at specific locations in the genome and the unwinding of DNA occurs with the help of the enzyme helicase and gyrase. The new strand synthesis takes place in the 5'-3' direction by the enzyme DNA polymerase. The synthesis of new strands is bidirectional. One of the strands is known as the leading strand and the other is the lagging strand where there is need of an RNA primer to initiate the process. The two copies of the DNA which are synthesized are equally distributed to the two new cells which are formed after cell division.
  • The same copies of the DNA with the genes is distributed in all the cells of the body.
  • This makes all the cells of the body to have the same genetic material.
  • In lower organisms, DNA replication is necessary for reproduction in order to have the same genes in the progeny.

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