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An age of discoveries: Identifying key DNA enzymes

Welcome to Biomed Bites, a weekly feature that introduces readers to some of Stanford’s most innovative biomedical researchers. 

For those of us younger than a certain age, this video featuring I. Robert Lehman, PhD, is a great reminder that DNA remained rather mysterious stuff until quite recently.

He gets right to the point:

I consider my two major contributions to the field to be: the discovery of DNA polymerase, the enzyme which actually synthesizes DNA; and the discovery of an enzyme called DNA ligase, which can stitch two separate DNA molecules together.

Both of those enzymes play a critical role in how DNA is replicated, damaged DNA is repaired, and how DNA molecules recombine with each other.

Kudos to you, Dr. Lehman, for laying down building blocks on which a wealth of genetics and biotechnology rests today.

Learn more about Stanford Medicine’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative and about other faculty leaders who are driving biomedical innovation here.

Previously: A molecular "flag" marks key genesWhat matters to Stanford's Lucy Shapiro, and why and The making of a scientist — Stanford's Irv Weissman under the Big Sky

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