Tinker toys and chromosomes

When I was growing up we played with something called tinker toys. In fact, they are still available today. There were other baby toys along the way that my children played with called snap lock beads. I’m not here to sell you on toys and how they can be fitted together, but rather on chromosomes and how they may be fitted together. So I am going to show you something that is not yet on the market, at least I am not aware of it.

Imagine, if you will, a can full of three different toy plastic rings that contain short, red magnetic sections like the ones shown below: They come with either one, two, or four magnets attached to them.

Tinker toys1.png

These red magnets can be used to attach these three ring types together into any myriad number of configurations, similar to tinker toys and snap beads.

Tinker toys2.png

The more rings are networked together, the stronger the bonds become. Single bonds are the weakest links.

Tinker toys3.png

Assume these magnets represent origins of replication in DNA circles. There is physical and biochemical strength in numbers. However, even if you pull apart the weak link on the right you still have two single DNA circles, each capable of replication. Further damage would ultimately destroy the rings altogether, but the weakest area of the doublet ring is where the magnets have attached to one another. Please keep this in mind when reading the reference below which states that origins of replication may have something to do with fragile sites in chromosomes. If you need more generalized information, please check out this  video link: Human chromosomes made from dust.

Fragile Genomic Sites Are Associated with Origins of Replication.

Bacteria may have multiple replication origins

Origin pairing (‘handcuffing’) as a mode of negative control of P1 plasmid copy number. 


About frankabernathy

I am a retired cell biologist and alumnus of Ohio State University. I became interested in chromosomes as far back as the 1960's when I wrote a term paper on the effects of radiomimetic drugs on chromosomes. I was fascinated at how they could break apart and reform new structures so easily. I became further involved in the early 1970's after taking a cytogenetics course at the University of Arkansas. I took that knowledge with me to Ohio State in 1980 where I eventually worked on my research and completed my Ph.D. dissertation, "Studies on Eukaryotic DNA Superstructure". My studies and later research suggested that the DNA within the eukaryotic chromosome is not the simple, linear molecular thread so widely suggested in all the classic textbooks published today. Instead, it may be the culmination of a geologically rapid set of endosymbiotic events where microorganisms plug into each other to create something greater than themselves. Feel free to contact me at fabernathy@sbcglobal.net.
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