DNA News and Research

RSS
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.
Study finding suggests new ways in which genetic mutations may cause brain disorders

Study finding suggests new ways in which genetic mutations may cause brain disorders

Scientists unravel mechanism of rare, early phenomenon that can affect human development

Scientists unravel mechanism of rare, early phenomenon that can affect human development

MGH researchers discover regulators of gene expression programs in medulloblastoma

MGH researchers discover regulators of gene expression programs in medulloblastoma

New research pinpoints how bacteria get into lungs of healthy people

New research pinpoints how bacteria get into lungs of healthy people

Novel antiviral drug can protect transplant patients against CMV infections

Novel antiviral drug can protect transplant patients against CMV infections

Scientists devise novel DNA vaccine approach against important cancer antigen targets

Scientists devise novel DNA vaccine approach against important cancer antigen targets

Study shows how old blood stem cells can be rejuvenated

Study shows how old blood stem cells can be rejuvenated

New research offers insights into how differences arise in common illnesses

New research offers insights into how differences arise in common illnesses

Computational software that evaluates DNA samples may help in diagnosis, treatment of cancer

Computational software that evaluates DNA samples may help in diagnosis, treatment of cancer

Researchers reveal biological pathways involved in diabetic kidney disease

Researchers reveal biological pathways involved in diabetic kidney disease

Study uncovers how effects of HSP90 protein can alter course of genetic diseases

Study uncovers how effects of HSP90 protein can alter course of genetic diseases

Cutting-edge research into dolphin’s genome could provide solutions to human problems

Cutting-edge research into dolphin’s genome could provide solutions to human problems

Cocaine use by fathers may negatively impact cognitive development in male offspring

Cocaine use by fathers may negatively impact cognitive development in male offspring

Lack of methyl groups in gene body may lead to emergence of cancer

Lack of methyl groups in gene body may lead to emergence of cancer

New compounds with potent anticancer activity could lessen side effects of oncological treatments

New compounds with potent anticancer activity could lessen side effects of oncological treatments

Researchers find new evidence to support structure-based classification system for viruses

Researchers find new evidence to support structure-based classification system for viruses

Recommend daily intake of fruit and veg may need doubling, indicates study

Recommend daily intake of fruit and veg may need doubling, indicates study

MSK researchers harness power of CRISPR/Cas9 to create more-potent CAR T cells

MSK researchers harness power of CRISPR/Cas9 to create more-potent CAR T cells

New research pinpoints how immigrant microbes get to the lungs

New research pinpoints how immigrant microbes get to the lungs

Eating up to ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day may reduce disease, early death risk

Eating up to ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day may reduce disease, early death risk