Colour-coded tags show DNA damage

2019-03-03 02:01:06

By Bob Holmes A MOLECULAR machine that can attach different-coloured glowing molecules to different types of damaged DNA is promising biologists a powerful new way to track how cells die. Cell suicide, or apoptosis, is a crucial part of the developmental process in multicellular organisms. It is thought that many cancers start when apoptosis fails and cells refuse to die off as they should. Early in apoptosis, enzymes shred a dying cell’s DNA into thousands of fragments. Looking for this damage is a common way to recognise apoptotic cells. But there is a complication: