Lord of the DNA Rings

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Science  10 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5604, pp. 161j
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5604.161j

The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans can tolerate extraordinary levels of ionizing irradiation, yet this bacterium encodes a normal battery of DNA repair enzymes. Levin-Zaidman et al. (p. 254) now suggest that the key to radioresistance may be the unusual way the bacterial genome is packaged. The D. radiodurans genome adopts a tightly packed, ring-like morphology that may restrict diffusion and therefore physically facilitate the accurate rejoining of DNA fragments produced by irradiation.


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