DNA Wars: How the Cell Strikes Back to Avoid Disease after Attacks on DNA

an illstration showing the enzyme DNA ligase roughly shaped like a semicircle, and a broken strand of DNA.

An illustration showing DNA ligase (Tom Ellenberger, Washington University School of Medicine, image from NIGMS).


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2013



Cite This Course

Course Description

A never-ending molecular war takes place in the nucleus of your cells, with DNA damage occurring at a rate of over 20,000 lesions per cell per day. Where does this damage come from, and what are its consequences? What are the differences in the molecular blueprint between individuals who can sustain attacks on DNA and remain healthy compared to those who become sick?

This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.

Jennifer Jordan, and Zachary Nagel. 7.346 DNA Wars: How the Cell Strikes Back to Avoid Disease after Attacks on DNA, Fall 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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