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Vindication for a misunderstood polymerase

Written by Francesca Lake (Editor-in-Chief)

polymerase theta DNA editing

In the latest shake-up for scientific dogma, research has demonstrated that eukaryotic cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, through a misunderstood, ‘error-prone’ polymerase. Historically, polymerases in mammalian cells have been thought to be one-directional, converting DNA into DNA or RNA. This one-way system prevents any rewriting of the ‘master recipe’ of DNA; however, new research from Richard Pomerantz and colleagues at Thomas Jefferson University (PA, USA) has provided evidence that one of our polymerases can work the other way, and with high efficiency. If the results hold true, they could have wide-ranging implications for the life sciences, including...

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