DNA and its associated material replicate at regular intervals, a process essential to all living organisms. This process contributes to everything from how the body responds to disease to hair color. DNA replication was identified in the late 1950s, but understanding exactly how this process of replication occurs and how it is regulated has been elusive. A team of researchers at Florida State University appear to have unlocked a decades-old mystery about how a critical cellular process is regulated and what that could mean for the future study of genetics. David Gilbert and doctoral student Jiao Sima published a paper in the journal Cell in December that reported on experiments showing there are specific points along the DNA molecule that control replication. Examining a single segment of DNA in the highest possible 3-D resolution, they identified three sequences along the DNA molecule touching each other frequently. They found that these three elements together were the key to DNA replication.