DNA News and Research

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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.
Emory researchers reveal 'matchmaker' role for protein linked to SMA

Emory researchers reveal 'matchmaker' role for protein linked to SMA

Children of parents affected with C9orf72 mutations more likely to have FTD and ALS at younger age

Children of parents affected with C9orf72 mutations more likely to have FTD and ALS at younger age

Study shows how errors in specific gene can cause growth defects linked to dwarfism

Study shows how errors in specific gene can cause growth defects linked to dwarfism

Professor aims to develop shortcuts for targeted and effective cancer therapy

Professor aims to develop shortcuts for targeted and effective cancer therapy

Osmium-based compound seen to target cancer cells from inside

Osmium-based compound seen to target cancer cells from inside

LMU study shows crucial role of microRNAs in protecting precursors of neurons

LMU study shows crucial role of microRNAs in protecting precursors of neurons

Cole-Parmer introduces Arcis DNA Prep Kit for fast and convenient DNA or RNA extraction

Cole-Parmer introduces Arcis DNA Prep Kit for fast and convenient DNA or RNA extraction

New imaging method enables rapid assessment of tumor tissue during brain surgery

New imaging method enables rapid assessment of tumor tissue during brain surgery

USU researchers develop new primer that improves studies into arsenic contamination

USU researchers develop new primer that improves studies into arsenic contamination

Specific genetic errors that trigger congenital heart disease can be reproduced in common fruit fly

Specific genetic errors that trigger congenital heart disease can be reproduced in common fruit fly

Researchers develop new method that can rapidly profile resistome of gut microbial communities

Researchers develop new method that can rapidly profile resistome of gut microbial communities

IDT completes acquisition of GeneWorks' oligo manufacturing business

IDT completes acquisition of GeneWorks' oligo manufacturing business

MSK researchers publish new review that focuses on genome-driven oncology

MSK researchers publish new review that focuses on genome-driven oncology

Study discovers new form of congenital muscular dystrophy caused by faulty INPP5K gene

Study discovers new form of congenital muscular dystrophy caused by faulty INPP5K gene

Scientists identify gene variants that predispose children to developing Kawasaki disease

Scientists identify gene variants that predispose children to developing Kawasaki disease

New kit for DNA library preparation released by PCR company

New kit for DNA library preparation released by PCR company

Genetic variant encoded in NCF1 linked to increased risk for autoimmune diseases, study shows

Genetic variant encoded in NCF1 linked to increased risk for autoimmune diseases, study shows

Designer compound may be effective tool for tackling tau-related disorders

Designer compound may be effective tool for tackling tau-related disorders

NIH researchers identify genes that may predict how melanoma spreads

NIH researchers identify genes that may predict how melanoma spreads

UC San Diego engineers develop desktop diagnosis tool that detects harmful bacteria in few hours

UC San Diego engineers develop desktop diagnosis tool that detects harmful bacteria in few hours