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  • Crick Receives EU Funding for DNA Replication Studies
    Alessandr Costa

Crick Receives EU Funding for DNA Replication Studies

Jan 22 2019 Read 155 Times

A €2 million Consolidator grant from the European Research Council (ERC) has been awarded to Crick group leader Alessandro Costa to study the molecular machinery inside our cells that controls DNA replication. The process of copying all cell DNA and splitting it into two new cells during division is complicated and small mistakes can lead to DNA damage. Alessandro’s research team are aiming to find out exactly how the cell’s machinery replicates DNA so that they can start to understand what happens when the process goes wrong.

use of sophisticated cryo-electron microscopes, to freeze and image the molecular machinery during different stages of genome replication, is gradually building up a picture of the whole process.

“By stitching all of our high-resolution images together, we’ll be able to create a DNA replication ‘flipbook’ that will give us unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of genome replication,” said Alessandro.

It is hoped that the project will provide the scientific community with a framework to better understand DNA replication, so that they can figure out which cancer-causing mutations arise from problems with the cell’s machinery.

"I’m thrilled that our work has received the acknowledgement and support of the ERC,” says Alessandro. “I am also grateful to my lab members - they should feel proud of their achievements and current progress on this exciting project.”

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