BIOL 1113 College Biology I Spring 2017

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BIOL1113 College Biology I Spring 2017

Today’sScience Report

DNARepair Good for a Nobel





Thearticle discusses the discovery of a DNA repair mechanism that is keyto the continuing studies on cancer (Waldron, 2015). The importanceof the development was so appreciable that the persons behind thediscovery won the Nobel in the year 2015. The article also presentsvarious arguments that indicate that the human DNA is not stable, incontrast to previous beliefs in the 20th century. The report thenshows the different research by DNA professionals that helped clarifythe unstable nature of the human DNA while indicating the DNArecovery mechanism present in the human cells.

Thearticle presents various scientific facts about the human DNA. Thefirst fact clearly articulated in the article is that the human DNAis unstable, as opposed to previous beliefs. The factors that causethis instability include constant attacks from within and outside thebody by chemicals and rays. An unusual pairing of the adenine,thymine, guanine and cytosine compounds also makes the DNA unstable.The encoding of the DNA before mutation also makes it unpredictable,as an incomplete copy of data in a cell makes it susceptible to beingcancerous. Cellular metabolism also contributes to the DNAinstability because it has the potential of oxidizing the DNAmolecules. Secondly, the human cell has a DNA repair mechanism thathelps improve abnormal DNAs. Such a move helps the body in tacklingcells that multiply at an uncontrolled pace. These tools areimportant in helping cancer scientists to devise ways of handlingcancer. Thirdly, the human DNA repair mechanisms are similar to thoseof bacteria. The fourth fact is that tumors can manipulate the DNArepair mechanisms to their advantage. It is because once a cancerdrug seeks to kill the cancerous cells, the cell triggers the repairmechanism that brings back to life the destroyed DNA cell. Lastly,cancer pharmaceutical companies should venture into developingsubstances that tackle the DNA because the repair has a lot to dowith cancer.

Waldron(2015), formulates various discussion questions at the end of thearticle. They include:

Whatwould happen if cells did not always repair DNA? Failure to alwaysrepair DNA would result in many abnormal mutations that could causecancer. The high rate at which mutations happen in the human bodycalls for a mechanism to improve them to avoid abnormalities.

Whyis it not surprising that humans use DNA repair mechanisms similar tothose of bacteria? The bacteria DNAs have similar bases to that ofthose of humans. Therefore, the repair mechanism would more or lessbe the same because they tackle cells that have identical components.

Whyare drugs that attack DNA in certain ways effective for fightingcancer? It is because they prevent the cancerous cells from callingthe repair mechanism that would, in essence, repair the damagedcells.

Thearticle has utilized various scientific vocabulary words such asCancerwhich is defined as an abnormal, and uncontrolled cell growths thathave a tendency to spread to other parts of the body. Mutationdefined as the permanent alteration of the nucleotide sequence of thehuman genome or DNA. Regular mutations are responsible for enablingthe development of the human body. However, the abnormal mutationresults in cancer. DNA repair mechanisms which are the method throughwhich human cell repairs damaged DNAs. Mismatch repair defined as asystem for controlling the insertion, deletion and the incorporationof bases that could be as a result of DNA replication, and baseexcision repair which is defined as a mechanism that helps repairdamaged DNAs through the removal of small base regions from the humangenome.

Waldron(2015)article has incorporated various biological concept learned in class.They include cell structure and function concept since it highlightsthe structure of the DNA among other cells. The article highlightsthe four bases of the DNA that include the thymine, adenine, guanineand cytosine components. The report also presents a visualrepresentation of the DNA structure with a comprehensive insight intothe chromosome. The article also connects to the metabolism conceptas it discusses how oxygen aid in generating free radicals thatoxidize DNA molecules. In so doing, oxidation could cause abnormalmutations that can be cancerous. Cell division is also a concept thatis evident throughout the article. Through this, the article arguesthat abnormal cell divisions can cause cancer. It is where the DNArepair mechanism comes to repair any possible abnormalities from theresulting cells in the mutation process. The “molecules of cells”is a biological concept that is also evident in the article. Thearticle presents a discussion of the deoxyribonucleic acid that formsis a critical information molecule of the human cell. The RNA is alsopresent, indicating how the article discusses the molecules of cells.Lastly, the article also sheds insights into the cellular respirationconcept.

Thearticle is comprehensible and informative as it explicitly discussesfacts alongside laboratory tests to support the arguments. Thearguments also make sense, despite the fact that it fails to offerdeeper insights into some concepts. The article should have thereforecovered more topics and presented broader discussion to communicatebetter. In so doing, the reader would not have to conduct moreresearch to answer some of the questions in the article. The answersshould have been clearly evident in the article.


Waldron,P. (2015). DNA Repair Good for a Nobel. Today’s Science