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Thread: Chromosome Fragmentation in Mammmals

  1. #1 Chromosome Fragmentation in Mammmals 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of a mechanism by which chromosomes in mammals might break into two?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Such breakages are known as DNA "double strand breaks" and are relatively common - indeed, the cell has several mechanism at its disposal to try and fix such traumatic damage. Each cell may have to repair such breaks thousands of times in its life time.

    They can be caused by ionizing radiation or DNA-damaging chemicals (such as reactive oxygen species) or even by polymerases passing over a unrepaired nick in a segment of DNA. Additionally, such breakages are even carried out deliberately as part of some recombination processes.


    I can't provide you with a detailed chemical mechanism though, since my knowledge of chemistry is not good enough.


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    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Oh, but are there any ways in which those fragmentations could become permanent, without too much damage to the organism?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    There is a rare process known as "chromosome fission" that may be closest to what you describe. You could look into that.
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