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.
Study on papillary thyroid carcinoma to be presented at 84th Annual Meeting of the ATA

Study on papillary thyroid carcinoma to be presented at 84th Annual Meeting of the ATA

The prevalence of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), the most common type of thyroid cancer, is increasing rapidly. New research to determine the impact of radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy on survival in PTC, describing a novel blood test able to detect circulating BRAFV600E-positive tumor DNA, and identifying a long non-coding RNA specifically associated with the thyroid that is down-regulated in PTC compared to normal thyroid tissue in patient-derived clinical specimens and cell cultures will be featured in oral presentations delivered at the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, October 29-November 2, 2014, in Coronado, California. [More]
BloodCenter of Wisconsin announces availability of cancer mutation HemeOnc Panel

BloodCenter of Wisconsin announces availability of cancer mutation HemeOnc Panel

BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories today announced the availability of a comprehensive cancer mutation HemeOnc Panel using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The NGS panel developed by BloodCenter of Wisconsin is designed to detect variants in 30 genes that are either prognostic or diagnostic for 10 different myeloid hematologic malignancies. [More]
New research findings on Graves' disease to be highlighted at ATA meeting

New research findings on Graves' disease to be highlighted at ATA meeting

A unique mouse model of Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, and new research findings that may help improve the treatment of Graves' disease will be highlighted in oral and poster presentations at the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, October 29-November 2, 2014, in Coronado, California. [More]
WUSM researchers sequence genome of enterovirus D68 samples from patients

WUSM researchers sequence genome of enterovirus D68 samples from patients

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have sequenced the genome of enterovirus D68 sampled from patients treated at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Nationwide, the virus has spread rapidly in recent months and caused severe respiratory illness in young children, with some patients requiring hospitalization. [More]
Prof. Mary-Claire King receives 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science

Prof. Mary-Claire King receives 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science

At a ceremony held in New York City on September 19, 2014, leading geneticist and humanitarian Prof. Mary-Claire King, the American Cancer Society Professor of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and 2008 Honorary Doctor of Philosophy of Tel Aviv University, was awarded the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. [More]
New study pinpoints complex genetic origins for autoimmune diseases

New study pinpoints complex genetic origins for autoimmune diseases

Scores of autoimmune diseases afflicting one in 12 Americans — ranging from type 1 diabetes, to multiple sclerosis (MS), to rheumatoid arthritis, to asthma — mysteriously cause the immune system to harm tissues within our own bodies. Now, a new study pinpoints the complex genetic origins for many of these diseases, a discovery that may lead to better diagnosis and ultimately to improved treatments. [More]
Landmark study provides new insight into function of enzyme related to BRCA1 protein

Landmark study provides new insight into function of enzyme related to BRCA1 protein

A landmark study to be published in the October 30, 2014 print edition of the journal Nature provides new insight into the function of an enzyme related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein. The study by a team at Penn State University is the first to produce a detailed working image of an enzyme in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) -- a group that regulates cell development and is associated with many types of cancer. [More]
UCLA research could lead to simple saliva test for early diagnosis of deadly diseases

UCLA research could lead to simple saliva test for early diagnosis of deadly diseases

UCLA research could lead to a simple saliva test capable of diagnosing — at an early stage — diabetes and cancer, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases. [More]
New study reveals link between aristolochic acid and kidney cancer

New study reveals link between aristolochic acid and kidney cancer

A new study on a large cohort of kidney cancer patients in Europe sheds light on the genetic architecture of the disease -- and reveals an apparent link between exposure to aristolochic acid and incidence of kidney cancer, particularly in Romania. [More]
Genetic differences contribute to risk for autism

Genetic differences contribute to risk for autism

Small differences in as many as a thousand genes contribute to risk for autism, according to a study led by Mount Sinai researchers and the Autism Sequencing Consortium, and published today in the journal Nature. [More]
Researchers use DNA sequencing to uncover genes that heighten autism risk

Researchers use DNA sequencing to uncover genes that heighten autism risk

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers have used DNA sequencing to uncover dozens of genes that heighten the risk for autism. Joseph Buxbaum, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, Mark Daly, Ph.D., Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and their colleagues examined more than 14,000 DNA samples from affected children, parents and unrelated people. [More]
New library sample preparation kits for Next Generation Sequencing announced by AMSBIO

New library sample preparation kits for Next Generation Sequencing announced by AMSBIO

AMSBIO announces RapidSeq – new convenient and cost-effective library sample preparation kits for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) research and diagnostic work. [More]
RNF43 mutation may serve as biomarker that identifies colorectal, endometrial cancer patients

RNF43 mutation may serve as biomarker that identifies colorectal, endometrial cancer patients

Scientists say they have identified in about 20 percent of colorectal and endometrial cancers a genetic mutation that had been overlooked in recent large, comprehensive gene searches. With this discovery, the altered gene, called RNF43, now ranks as one of the most common mutations in the two cancer types. [More]
Tiny nano-sized particles may play major role in detecting, tracking breast cancer

Tiny nano-sized particles may play major role in detecting, tracking breast cancer

Exosomes, tiny, virus-sized particles released by cancer cells, can bioengineer micro-RNA (miRNA) molecules resulting in tumor growth. They do so with the help of proteins, such as one named Dicer. New research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests Dicer may also serve as a biomarker for breast cancer and possibly open up new avenues for diagnosis and treatment. [More]
High risk for congenital heart defects in Down syndrome provides tool to identify changes in genes

High risk for congenital heart defects in Down syndrome provides tool to identify changes in genes

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal abnormality in humans, involving a third copy of all or part of chromosome 21. In addition to intellectual disability, individuals with Down syndrome have a high risk of congenital heart defects. However, not all people with Down syndrome have them – about half have structurally normal hearts. [More]
MIT researchers develop new way to model effects of cancer-causing genetic mutations

MIT researchers develop new way to model effects of cancer-causing genetic mutations

Sequencing the genomes of tumor cells has revealed thousands of genetic mutations linked with cancer. However, sifting through this deluge of information to figure out which of these mutations actually drive cancer growth has proven to be a tedious, time-consuming process. [More]
Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, is associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. [More]
Novel 'designer' nanodevice could improve cancer diagnostics, treatment

Novel 'designer' nanodevice could improve cancer diagnostics, treatment

Cancer diagnostics and treatment options could be drastically improved with the creation of a 'designer' nanodevice being developed by researchers from the UK, Italy, the US and Argentina. [More]
Next generation sequencing applications automated through partnership between Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and New England Biolabs

Next generation sequencing applications automated through partnership between Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and New England Biolabs

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, through a partnership with New England Biolabs®, Inc. (NEB®), offers automated methods to improve processes and throughput in next generation sequencing (NGS) sample preparation. Under the agreement, Beckman Coulter will use its extensive experience in automated NGS sample prep to develop, distribute and support automation for NEB’s NEBNext® sample preparation reagent kits. NEB will provide technical expertise on the reagents, chemistry and protocols. [More]
Early access program for human chromosome mapping analytical service announced by Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and OpGen

Early access program for human chromosome mapping analytical service announced by Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and OpGen

Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and OpGen, Inc., a leading genetic analysis company, announced the introduction of an Early Access Program for its upcoming Human Chromosome ExplorerSM, human chromosome mapping analytical service for clinical research and life science research applications. [More]