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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.
InnaVirVax presents positive results of IVVAC-3S/P1 study at International AIDS Society Conference

InnaVirVax presents positive results of IVVAC-3S/P1 study at International AIDS Society Conference

InnaVirVax, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in research and development of therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for major infectious and chronic diseases, today announced the overall results of its Phase I/IIa clinical study of its VAC-3S immunotherapy, which is currently in development. [More]
Losing single night of sleep could alter genes that control biological clocks in cells

Losing single night of sleep could alter genes that control biological clocks in cells

Swedish researchers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute have found that genes that control the biological clocks in cells throughout the body are altered after losing a single night of sleep, in a study that is to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. [More]
RepliCel obtains two important approvals to conduct RCS-01 phase 1 human clinical trial

RepliCel obtains two important approvals to conduct RCS-01 phase 1 human clinical trial

RepliCel Life Sciences Inc., a clinical stage regenerative medicine company focused on the development of autologous cell therapies, today announced it has received two important approvals required to conduct its RCS-01 phase 1 human clinical trial. [More]
TGen, NAU to jointly develop quick, affordable and accurate test to diagnose Lyme disease

TGen, NAU to jointly develop quick, affordable and accurate test to diagnose Lyme disease

Focus On Lyme, an initiative sponsored by the Leadership Children's Foundation of Gilbert, Ariz., has donated $75,000 to the Translational Genomics Research Institute to support research into the development of a quick, affordable and accurate method of diagnosing Lyme disease. [More]
Yale researchers lead NIH-funded study of preschool and school-aged children with ASD

Yale researchers lead NIH-funded study of preschool and school-aged children with ASD

Yale School of Medicine researchers will lead a national multi-center study of preschool and school-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to identify non-invasive biological markers (biomarkers) that could help physicians diagnose, track, and assess treatments in autism patients. [More]
Research: 'Pill on a string' could help detect early signs of oesophageal cancer

Research: 'Pill on a string' could help detect early signs of oesophageal cancer

A 'pill on a string' developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could help doctors detect oesophageal cancer - cancer of the gullet - at an early stage, helping them overcome the problem of wide variation between biopsies, suggests research published today in the journal Nature Genetics. [More]
New approach holds great promise for developing effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases

New approach holds great promise for developing effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases

Using existing drugs, such as lithium, to restore basic biological processes in human cells and animal models, researchers may have broken a long-standing logjam in devising effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases. [More]
Scientists find potent agent that thwarts drug resistance in malaria parasite

Scientists find potent agent that thwarts drug resistance in malaria parasite

Scientists have made an important breakthrough in the fight against malaria, identifying a potent agent that thwarts drug resistance in the parasite that causes the disease. [More]
New research reveals how DNA influences severity of any genetic disease

New research reveals how DNA influences severity of any genetic disease

That two people with the same disease-causing mutation do not get sick to the same extent has been puzzling scientists for decades. Now Professor Andy Fraser and his team have uncovered a key part of what makes every patient different. [More]
Type 2 diabetes patients with specific genetic markers at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

Type 2 diabetes patients with specific genetic markers at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

Certain patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) may have specific genetic risk factors that put them at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published recently in Molecular Aspects of Medicine. [More]
Proteins responsible for controlling iron levels in the body also fight against infection

Proteins responsible for controlling iron levels in the body also fight against infection

Proteins responsible for controlling levels of iron in the body also play an important role in combatting infection, according to a study published today in Cell Host & Microbe. [More]
New project aims to revolutionize application of optogenetics in neuroscience

New project aims to revolutionize application of optogenetics in neuroscience

The revolution that optogenetics technology has brought to biology -- neuroscience in particular -- could be transformed all over again if a new project getting underway at Brown University and Central Michigan University is successful. [More]
Changes in body temperature can cause sudden cardiac death, finds SFU research

Changes in body temperature can cause sudden cardiac death, finds SFU research

Scientists, including SFU professor Peter Ruben, have found that sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmia can be triggered by changes in body temperature. The study is published in the Journal of Physiology. [More]
Genetic mutation associated with severe loss of body fat, appearance of premature aging in children identified

Genetic mutation associated with severe loss of body fat, appearance of premature aging in children identified

Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute have identified a genetic mutation associated with the appearance of premature aging and severe loss of body fat in children. [More]
Simple, low-cost method for DNA profiling of human hairs could help trace criminals

Simple, low-cost method for DNA profiling of human hairs could help trace criminals

A simple, lower-cost new method for DNA profiling of human hairs developed by the University of Adelaide should improve opportunities to link criminals to serious crimes. [More]
OGT’s popular ESHG workshop free to view online

OGT’s popular ESHG workshop free to view online

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), The Molecular Genetics Company, has made its European Human Genetics (ESHG) Conference workshop freely available to view online. [More]
Protein delivery reagent assists neurodegeneration research

Protein delivery reagent assists neurodegeneration research

AMSBIO announces that Belgian researchers have cited use of BioPORTER Protein Delivery Reagent to introduce Tau seeds into HEK293 cells. BioPORTER Protein Delivery Reagent is a unique lipid formulation that allows direct translocation of proteins into living cells. [More]
Noninvasive prenatal testing clue to maternal malignancy

Noninvasive prenatal testing clue to maternal malignancy

A preliminary study lends support to the hypothesis that a false-positive noninvasive prenatal test finding could be due to the presence of an occult maternal cancer. [More]
FDA grants CLIA waiver for Alere i Strep A test

FDA grants CLIA waiver for Alere i Strep A test

Alere Inc., a global leader in rapid diagnostic tests, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted CLIA waiver for the Alere i Strep A test. The test, which was cleared for marketing by the FDA in April 2015, is the first molecular platform that detects Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria in 8 minutes or less. [More]
New drug DSM265 shows potential to cure, prevent malaria

New drug DSM265 shows potential to cure, prevent malaria

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and in Australia have shown that a drug currently in testing shows potential to cure malaria in a single dose and offers promise as a preventive treatment as well. [More]
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