DNA News and Research RSS Feed - DNA News and Research

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).

The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.

DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder’s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.

An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.
New finding could accelerate research to regenerate damaged tissue

New finding could accelerate research to regenerate damaged tissue

Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have found a way to boost dramatically the efficiency of the process for turning adult cells into so-called pluripotent stem cells by combining three well-known compounds, including vitamin C. [More]
Research could help eventual treatment of degenerative muscle, brain diseases

Research could help eventual treatment of degenerative muscle, brain diseases

Our genetic information is stored in DNA, tiny strands of nucleic acid that contain instructions for the functioning of our bodies. To express this genetic data, our DNA is copied into RNA molecules, which then translate the instructions into proteins that perform tasks in our cells. [More]
Longer looks: Lithium in the water; controlling cancer; recovering from brain injury

Longer looks: Lithium in the water; controlling cancer; recovering from brain injury

There are many kinds of cancer, but treatments have typically combatted them in one way only: by attempting to destroy the cancerous cells. Surgery aims to remove the entire growth from the body; chemotherapy drugs are toxic to the cancer cells; radiation generates toxic molecules that break up the cancer cells' DNA and proteins, causing their demise. [More]
New approach to imaging metastatic tumors

New approach to imaging metastatic tumors

Bioluminescence, nanoparticles, gene manipulation - these sound like the ideas of a science fiction writer, but, in fact, they are components of an exciting new approach to imaging local and metastatic tumors. [More]
Scientists find 23 new genetic variants that increase risk for prostate cancer

Scientists find 23 new genetic variants that increase risk for prostate cancer

In an analysis of genetic information among more than 87,000 men, a global team of scientists says it has found 23 new genetic variants - common differences in the genetic code -- that increase a man's risk for prostate cancer. The so-called "meta-analysis," believed to be the largest of its kind, has revealed once hidden mutations among men in a broad array of ethnic groups comprising men of European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry. [More]
Scientists develop first blood test to diagnose major adult depression

Scientists develop first blood test to diagnose major adult depression

The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed by Northwestern Medicine- scientists, a breakthrough approach that provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. [More]
Researchers discover new molecular mechanism that plays crucial role in age-dependent diabetes

Researchers discover new molecular mechanism that plays crucial role in age-dependent diabetes

Ageing of insulin-secreting cells is coupled to a progressive decline in signal transduction and insulin release, according to a recent study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. [More]
Study uncovers new genetic risk factor for deadly skin cancer

Study uncovers new genetic risk factor for deadly skin cancer

Buffers that guard against damage to the ends of chromosomes could hold the key to a better understanding of malignant melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - according to new research from the University of Leeds. [More]
Zebrafish may hold key to unlocking a leading cause of respiratory diseases

Zebrafish may hold key to unlocking a leading cause of respiratory diseases

A small freshwater fish found in many tropical aquariums may hold the key to unlocking one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases in humans. [More]
MSU researchers show how bacterial immune systems fight off viruses

MSU researchers show how bacterial immune systems fight off viruses

When this week's print issue of the journal Science comes out, a collective cheer will go up from New Mexico, Montana and even the Netherlands, thanks to the type of collaborative effort that is more and more the norm in these connected times. Yes, the research was brilliant, and if we're lucky, it will produce innovations in biology, medicine, biotechnology and agriculture. It could save lives, and it happened because this scientist talked with that one, that one knew another one, and brilliant minds overcame geographic distance to advance human understanding. [More]
Researchers uncover new pathways that transport sugar molecules to cells

Researchers uncover new pathways that transport sugar molecules to cells

Sugar is a vital source of energy for both plants and animals alike. Understanding just how sugar makes its way into the cell could lead to the design of better drugs for diabetes patients and an increase in the amount of fruits and vegetables farmers are able to grow. [More]
New research shows schizophrenia comprises 8 genetically distinct disorders

New research shows schizophrenia comprises 8 genetically distinct disorders

New research shows that schizophrenia isn't a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness. [More]
Blocking bacteria's access to iron: an interview with Dr. Laxminarayana Devireddy

Blocking bacteria's access to iron: an interview with Dr. Laxminarayana Devireddy

Iron is a key nutrient for nearly all living organisms, including bacteria. Iron is a cofactor for many enzymes necessary for basic metabolic reactions such as DNA synthesis and electron transport. Iron serves as the conduit for the electron transport chain that generates the energy necessary to drive the bacterial cell. [More]
Collaborative study takes important step toward finding targeted treatments for bladder cancer

Collaborative study takes important step toward finding targeted treatments for bladder cancer

The story of cancer care seems so simple: find the mutated gene that causes cancer and turn it off or fix it. But rarely does a single gene cause cancer. More often, many genes are altered together to drive the disease. So the challenge becomes sorting out which altered genes are the most to blame in which cancers. [More]
Patients with particular genetic variation more prone to drug-induced pancreatitis

Patients with particular genetic variation more prone to drug-induced pancreatitis

Doctors have discovered that patients with a particular genetic variation are four times more likely to develop pancreatitis if they are prescribed a widely used group of drugs. [More]
Six research institutions awarded NIH grants to create database of human cellular responses

Six research institutions awarded NIH grants to create database of human cellular responses

Building on a successful three-year pilot project, the National Institutes of Health has awarded more than $64 million to six research institutions to create a database of human cellular responses, the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures. [More]
Global study shows accuracy of RNA genomic sequencing techniques

Global study shows accuracy of RNA genomic sequencing techniques

Physicians envision a future in which genomic data from patients is heavily used to manage care - but experts have questioned the accuracy and reliability of these analyses. Now, a study by 150 researchers in 12 countries finds real strength and agreement across RNA genomic sequencing techniques and laboratories - as well as ways to improve what little variability exists to set a new high standard. [More]

Health value of Apple's Watch questioned

Health care professionals say there is little evidence the new watch surpasses gadgets already on the market, although more health features may be in store, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, The Associated Press examines tensions between Silicon Valley tech giants and government regulators. [More]
Human stem cells can be reset to their native undifferentiated state

Human stem cells can be reset to their native undifferentiated state

Scientists at the Babraham Institute, in collaboration with colleagues at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute, have made a breakthrough in stem cell research. Their paper, published today in Cell, describes how human stem cells can be reverted back to non-specialised cells. [More]
Research gives scientists new insight into evolution of gibbon genome

Research gives scientists new insight into evolution of gibbon genome

A team led by an Oregon Health & Science University researcher has sequenced and annotated the genome of the only ape whose DNA had yet to be sequenced - the gibbon, an endangered small ape that inhabits the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. [More]