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DNA Replication

In this section, we will review the processes of DNA replication and repair. DNA replication is the process in which genetic material that is encoded in a DNA sequence is copied so that it can be passed to new cells and offspring through. For humans, DNA replication is the reason we bear similarities to our parents and relatives.

While the aim of replication is to yield an identical copy of the original DNA, errors in the process make this impossible and lead to mutations. Although these mutations can be fatal to cells, many are not and act as a means of diversifying cell offspring. The replication process is essential for cell growth and reproduction.

We will begin our discussion by looking globally at how DNA replication occurs and what types of mutations commonly occur. We will then look more specifically at the molecules responsible for facilitation of replication and at the chemical mechanisms behind the process. Finally, we will look at how the built-in repair systems that DNA uses to produce a faithful copies maintain low mutation rates.