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Preface/Front Matter

Melvin L. Depamphilis


Tout ce qui est vrai pour le Colibacille est vrai pour l’éléphant.

[All that is true for E. coli is true for the elephant.]

Jacques Monod (1910–1976)

[décembre 1972, MON. Bio.20, Dossier 24.2,Dessin aquarelle]

Human development begins when an egg is fertilized by a sperm to produce a single cell containing a genome of 3.3 billion base pairs that encodes from 20,000 to 25,000 genes packaged into 46 individual chromosomes. Remarkably, some 5 trillion cell divisions later, an adult human appears that contains more than 20 trillion meters of DNA, the equivalent of 100 times the distance from the earth to the sun! And yet, with the exception of trophoblast giant cells and megakaryocytes, the genome is replicated once and only once each time a cell divides. How is this amazing feat accomplished?

The answer to this question emerges from the facts and concepts presented here by 76 men and women working in 15 different countries to understand how eukaryotic cells replicate and repair their genomes. Since the first edition of this book (DNA Replication in Eukaryotic Cells) was published in 1996, progress in this field has been astonishing. Not only are mechanisms for replicating many DNA viruses now understood in detail, but what was once viewed as a disparate collection of facts on distantly related organisms has gelled into a unifying concept that relates genome duplication to cell growth and division from single-cell eukaryotes such as yeast to multicellular eukaryotes such as flies, frogs, mammals, and plants. If

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