Nature’s flaws

Today I’d like to redirect you to a piece I wrote for Protein Spotlight, a monthly review published by the Swiss-Prot team of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Each month the review highlights a specific protein and I chose to write about the protein Xeroderma Pigmentosum A and its essential role in repairing our DNA.

“Nothing is perfect. And nature is no exception. This said, we should be grateful for nature’s imperfections because, were it not for them, we would not be here. Without the changes that have been accumulating in genes over millions of years, we would not know the rich diversity of species that inhabit Earth today. Yet we all know that mutations can be lethal to an individual. Tinker with a crucial position in a gene and you can find yourself with a severe handicap. Extensive damage to a cell’s genome can lead to all sorts of ailments, not the least cancer. This is why Nature imagined DNA repair mechanisms so as to limit the damage and prevent as many mutations as possible. One such mechanism is nucleotide excision repair, and at its heart: protein Xeroderma Pigmentosum A (XPA).” Read more

Also you might have noticed that I haven’t posted for a while. And I might not post again before a few months. I got a job teaching biology in high school – another way for me to show how cool biology is -but preparing classes is taking a lot of time. Time I used to spend writing posts. So CHONPS will be quiet for a while, but I’ll take it up again as soon as I can.

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