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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Nov;5(11):937-44.

Happy Hollidays: 40th anniversary of the Holliday junction.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, Hertfordshire EN6 3LD, UK.


In 1964, the geneticist Robin Holliday proposed a mechanism of DNA-strand exchange that attempted to explain gene-conversion events that occur during meiosis in fungi. His proposal marked the birthday of the now famous cross-stranded DNA structure, or Holliday junction. To understand the importance of the Holliday model we must look back in the history of science beyond the last 40 years, to a time when theories of heredity were being proposed by Gregor Johann Mendel.

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