|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
Since I have not studied biology, I have been going through my daughter's high school biology book to get a basic understanding of the subject. I have a degree in engineering and I find this area very fascinating. In reading about DNA replication, it occurred to me that the process would be associated with an activation energy as the hydrogen bonds first break up during the parent DNA unzipping process and then recombine with the new sugar-phosphate daughter strands. Is this correct? If so, how is this energy supplied and what is its magnitude? On a more fundamental level, I assume the original hydrogen bonds in the parent DNA must attain a level of instability to trigger the bonds to break to start the unzipping process; otherwise, why would the nitrogen bases want to recombine to form a new set of DNA strands if it is already in a stable state? If this is correct, what mechanism triggers this instability and does it occur in some periodic manner? I would appreciate a simple answer.
Re: Activation energy for DNA replication
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