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DNA Structure and Replication

2. History and Structure

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About this Lecture


In the second mini-lecture, we move on to discussing the history of DNA and its discovery by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin. We discuss their roles in the discovery of its structure, before moving on to describing its macroscopic structure. We introduce the term ‘double helix’ to describe DNA, and explain how it is made of two strands bound together by hydrogen bonds. To contextualise this structure, we then display some of the ways that DNA can be bound in unconventional ways, as well as unusual DNA substructures that can form, such as G-quadruplexes.


In this lecture, Professor Richard Bowater (University of East Anglia) talks about DNA, its structure, its replication and how it can code for proteins. To do so, we: (i) discuss the microscopic structure of DNA, looking at what each monomer (nucleotide) is made of; before (ii) understanding the history of its discovery and the macroscopic structure; following onto (iii) DNA polymerase and its role in DNA synthesis; which then goes on to (iv) the coding and non-coding sections of DNA and how four nucleotides code for 20 amino acids; before (v) diving into the step-by-step process of how new nucleotides are added to DNA; and then finally (vi) understanding how DNA can be mutated and damaged, and some of the implications this can have on the proteins it codes for.


Having trained as a biochemist, Professor Richard Bowater's research interests broadened out to encompass methodologies that involve biophysical chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics. His research focuses on macromolecular interactions of bacterial DNA repair proteins, particularly DNA and RNA ligases, with experiments performed in vitro or in bacterial model organisms. His areas of expertise include the relationship of genetic instabilities to human diseases; trinucleotide (triplet) repeat expansions and human neurodegenerative disorders; DNA repair processes; and protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bowater, R. (2022, September 28). DNA Structure and Replication - History and Structure [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bowater, R. "DNA Structure and Replication – History and Structure." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Sep 2022,