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Replication is the process of making two identical copies of DNA.

Cells multiply by cellular division. A cell divides into two daughter cells. It is the process that allows all organisms to grow and regenerate. When a cell divides its genetic material must also be copied. This mechanism entails the separation of the two strands of the mother DNA. Two new DNA molecules are formed from each strand. This process is called semi-conservative as each new DNA molecule contains a mother strand and a new synthesised strand. This mechanism thus makes it possible to obtain two DNA molecules that are exact copies of the mother DNA. This process ensures that the genetic information of the mother cell is transmitted to the daughter cells.

Ribonucleic acid is a biological molecule whose molecular structure is very close to DNA. It is composed of a single helicoidal chain with a structure similar to one of the two chains that make up DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Living cells use RNA as the intermediate medium of genes for synthesising the proteins they require.


Seen from its molecular structure, RNA is very close to DNA. Furthermore, it is synthesised in cells and is distinguished by its essential role as messenger of genetic information. RNA is an intermediary-conveyor between DNA (of which it copies a sequence of information in “negative”) and the cellular structures, whose task is to read the sequence of information copied from the DNA in view to producing proteins. It is a kind of cellular “software”.


There are different types of RNA (messenger RNA, transfer RNA, ribosomal RNA) which each have a different specific function in the transmission of genetic information and which all play a specific role in the complex role of protein synthesis.

The Thematic Advanced Research Networks (RTRA) and the Thematic Research and Healthcare Networks (RTRS) were created by the law officialising the research program of 2006. Their aim is to gather, for a given theme, communities of excellence with a critical mass of the best researchers around a hard core of research units within close geographic proximity, capable of competing with the best research centres in the world.

The RTRA and RTRS federate around a common scientific objective and shared strategy higher education and public and private research institutions to bring together researchers, teacher-researchers, full-time clinicians and, if possible, companies.

Both the RTRS and the RTRA function in conformity with the status of Scientific Cooperation Foundation (FCS) following the signature of a convention of objectives with the Ministry of Research and Higher Education.

A status was drafted specifically for the Scientific Cooperation Foundations (FCS) to give their structures the flexibility and reactivity necessary in a context of international competition. Recognised as being in the public interest, these foundations can call on private sponsors.

In addition, the RTRS include a component relating to "healthcare" and bring together scientific and medical teams of the highest level to develop projects demanding closer collaboration between fundamental and clinical research, and innovative healthcare methods in specific domains.

The themes selected range from transplants to mental health, and include cancer and prematurity.

The RTRA cover all the main thematic fields of research: mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering sciences, information and communication sciences, life sciences, economics, the humanities and social sciences.

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