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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.
Epigenetic changes favor development of fatty liver in humans and mice

Epigenetic changes favor development of fatty liver in humans and mice

Mice with a strong tendency to obesity already exhibit epigenetic changes at six weeks of age, inducing the liver to amplify its production of the enzyme DPP4 and release it into the circulation. Over the long term, this favors the development of a fatty liver. [More]
UI scientists reveal how high-dose vitamin C damages cancer cells

UI scientists reveal how high-dose vitamin C damages cancer cells

Vitamin C has a patchy history as a cancer therapy, but researchers at the University of Iowa believe that is because it has often been used in a way that guarantees failure. [More]
Penn study finds evidence of AD neuropathology in post-mortem brains of LBD patients

Penn study finds evidence of AD neuropathology in post-mortem brains of LBD patients

Patients who had a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) with dementia (PDD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and had higher levels of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in their donated post-mortem brains also had more severe symptoms of these Lewy body diseases (LBD) during their lives, compared to those whose brains had less AD pathology, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Scientists develop new technique to control proteins inside live cells with light

Scientists develop new technique to control proteins inside live cells with light

Proteins are the workhorse molecules of life. Among their many jobs, they carry oxygen, build tissue, copy DNA for the next generation, and coordinate events within and between cells. [More]
NYSCF and PGP announce availability of unique new stem cell resource for scientific research

NYSCF and PGP announce availability of unique new stem cell resource for scientific research

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and the Personal Genomes Project today announced the availability of a unique new stem cell resource for scientists around the world. [More]
Study reveals how cancer cells break free of physical restraints to grow and spread in the body

Study reveals how cancer cells break free of physical restraints to grow and spread in the body

Scientists have revealed how cancer cells are able to break free of the physical restraints imposed by their surroundings in order to grow and spread around the body. [More]
UNC Catalyst aims to provide knowledge and research tools to tackle rare diseases

UNC Catalyst aims to provide knowledge and research tools to tackle rare diseases

Freely giving researchers the tools and knowledge to tackle rare and orphaned diseases is the mission of UNC Catalyst, a new endeavor the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched with a $2 million grant from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. [More]
TSRI scientists develop new tool to uncover molecular details of protein structure

TSRI scientists develop new tool to uncover molecular details of protein structure

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new tool for studying the molecular details of protein structure. [More]
How does the brain control appetite?

How does the brain control appetite?

Energy balance between energy intake and expenditure in our bodies is important for maintaining energy homeostasis to keep our bodies functioning properly. The appetite determines how much we eat, the energy intake, by communication between the brain and body. [More]
Large study seeking participants to uncover genetic links to autism

Large study seeking participants to uncover genetic links to autism

Chicagoland families affected by autism can participate in the nation's largest study to uncover genetic links to the condition by attending an on-site registration and data collection event in the western suburbs, Saturday, January 14. [More]
MMP9 enzyme could suppress tumors in colitis associated cancer, new study finds

MMP9 enzyme could suppress tumors in colitis associated cancer, new study finds

An enzyme that plays an active role in inflammation could be a natural way to suppress tumors and ulcers in the colon that are found in colitis associated cancer (CAC), a type of colorectal cancer that is driven by chronic inflammation, according to a new study. [More]
Persistent infection in infant reveals mutation that helps bacteria tolerate antibiotic therapy

Persistent infection in infant reveals mutation that helps bacteria tolerate antibiotic therapy

The quest to understand a prolonged infection in an infant being treated for leukemia has led to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital discovery of a mutation that allows bacteria to tolerate normally effective antibiotic therapy. The report appears today in the scientific journal mBio. [More]
AMSBIO offers extensive products to study metabolic pathways in cells

AMSBIO offers extensive products to study metabolic pathways in cells

AMSBIO offers an extensive range of proteins, antibodies, assays and kits covering every single target of major cellular metabolic pathways including folate metabolism, pyruvate metabolism (with and without oxygen), citrate metabolism, O2 consumption and toxicity, oxidative stress and fatty acid oxygen measurement. [More]
Modest increase in dietary zinc reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA, study shows

Modest increase in dietary zinc reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA, study shows

A new study by researchers from the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Research Institute shows that a modest 4 milligrams of extra zinc a day in the diet can have a profound, positive impact on cellular health that helps fight infections and diseases. [More]
Using 'fire to fight fire' approach to battle against disease could increase severity, research shows

Using 'fire to fight fire' approach to battle against disease could increase severity, research shows

A treatment billed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against disease, including cancer, could back-fire and make the disease fitter and more damaging, new research has found. [More]
Columbia University Medical Center to evaluate Biocept's Target Selector platform to diagnose LM in breast cancer patients

Columbia University Medical Center to evaluate Biocept's Target Selector platform to diagnose LM in breast cancer patients

Biocept, Inc., a leading commercial provider of clinically actionable liquid biopsy tests designed to improve the outcomes of cancer patients, announces that Columbia University Medical Center will conduct a study to evaluate the clinical utility of the Company's Target Selector™ platform to diagnose leptomeningeal metastases (LM) in patients with breast cancer. [More]
Zymo Research offers new sample collection devices that contain DNA/RNA Shield reagent

Zymo Research offers new sample collection devices that contain DNA/RNA Shield reagent

Zymo Research announced today that it is offering five new sample collection devices. Each type of collection tube contains Zymo Research's DNA/RNA Shield™ storage reagent, which preserves the genetic integrity and expression profiles of various samples such as cells, tissues, blood, plasma, serum, saliva, urine, and feces, at ambient temperatures for extended periods. [More]
A new strategy to fight prostate cancer

A new strategy to fight prostate cancer

A new study led by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) sheds light on a signaling circuit in cells that drives therapy resistance in prostate cancer. [More]
New active pharmaceutical ingredient may help against severe forms of testicular cancer

New active pharmaceutical ingredient may help against severe forms of testicular cancer

A new active pharmaceutical ingredient may help against severe forms of testicular cancer, which only respond inadequately to other therapies. [More]
Mutations linked to endometrial cancer can be found in uterine lavage fluid before cancer diagnosis

Mutations linked to endometrial cancer can be found in uterine lavage fluid before cancer diagnosis

Mutations that have been linked to endometrial cancer can be found in the uterine lavage fluid of pre- and post-menopausal women both with and without detectable cancer, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine by John Martignetti, MD, PhD of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and colleagues. [More]
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