new puzzle: finding home
The new puzzle "finding home" features a homing endonuclease recognizing its target DNA sequence. Homing endonucleases are proteins involved in transfer and replication of DNA sequences, in most of the cases their own. They recognize specific sites in the genome and are able to cut them precisely at that point and trigger the insertion of a new copy of their own gene. The surface in contact with the DNA is responsible for the recognition and discrimination of DNA sequences. Currently there is a lot of interest in homing endonucleases as tools for gene therapy, replacing mutated genes involved in diseases with correct copies. The challenge is to change the specificity of homing endonucleases to recognize new DNA sequences.
And this could be the topic of some of the future puzzles.