DNA helicase travels ahead of the replication fork, continuously opening and unwinding the DNA double helix to provide the template needed by the DNA Polymerase. With a rotational speed of up to 10,000 rotations per minute, the helicase rivals the rotational speed of jet engine turbines. When I first encountered and studied the mechanisms of DNA replication in my early undergraduate days, I was stunned by its complexity and elegance. I later came to the realization, however, that my initial conception of the sophistication of these molecular machines was a gross underestimation. The closer I inspected the nanomachinery responsible for information processing in the cell, the more I felt a sense of astonishment and marvel. You could write an entire book about each and every one of the numerous nanomachines needed for successful DNA replication. Indeed, such a book on DNA helicases and related DNA motors was recently published.
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