How does a cell change when it replicates?

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When a cell replicates, it duplicates its genetic material called the DNA to yield two daughter cells containing exactly the same genetic information. The DNA is a double-stranded molecule. When a cell replicates, each strand of the DNA acts as a template for duplicating genetic information.

As the cell replicates, the double helix DNA opens up and separates into two DNA strands. This process commences with the unwinding of a short stretch of the double helix by an initiator protein. The hydrogen bonds between the bases of the strand are then broken apart by a protein called helicase.

An enzyme called primase briefly attaches itself to each strand to lay a foundation for the replication process. A phenomenon known as complementary base pairing then follows, which results in the production of two new strands that exactly matches the original template strand. Copies of the chromosomes and organelles then migrate to the opposite ends of the cell which then physically splits into two separate cells.

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