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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.
Researchers unravel molecular mechanism of mRNA recognition

Researchers unravel molecular mechanism of mRNA recognition

The information encoded in our genes is translated into proteins, which ultimately mediate biological functions in an organism. [More]
New immuno-oncology drug helps body's own immune system to fend off cancer

New immuno-oncology drug helps body's own immune system to fend off cancer

According to an August 25 Reuters report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve Merck & Co.'s highly anticipated immuno-oncology drug, pembrolizumab, as a treatment for melanoma well ahead of a late October deadline. [More]
Genetic mutation caused by ultraviolet light is likely driving force behind human skin cancers

Genetic mutation caused by ultraviolet light is likely driving force behind human skin cancers

A genetic mutation caused by ultraviolet light is likely the driving force behind millions of human skin cancers, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. [More]
Researchers modify protocol to test dangerous form of antibiotic resistance

Researchers modify protocol to test dangerous form of antibiotic resistance

Researchers from Oregon State Public Health Lab have modified the protocol for a relatively new test for a dangerous form of antibiotic resistance, increasing its specificity to 100 percent. [More]
Soligenix acquires novel orphan drug candidate for treatment of CTCL

Soligenix acquires novel orphan drug candidate for treatment of CTCL

Soligenix, Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology and biodefense, announced today the acquisition of a novel orphan drug candidate, known as SGX301 (synthetic hypericin). [More]
Researchers make important progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor

Researchers make important progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Medical Center, Dallas, have made significant progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor, a type of kidney cancer found only in children. [More]
Chromatin immunoprecipitation informative brochure published by Porvair Sciences

Chromatin immunoprecipitation informative brochure published by Porvair Sciences

Porvair Sciences has published an informative 8-page brochure providing scientists with a background to Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP), an introduction to Chromatrap® ChIP assay technology and how Chromatrap® compares to traditional bead based methodologies. [More]
DNA regions that contained telomeres generate RNAs

DNA regions that contained telomeres generate RNAs

RNA is one of the most primitive molecules associated with life that has awakened most interest over the last decade; a sister molecule to cellular DNA from which it originates via a process called transcription. [More]
Findings may help develop biomarkers to identify HIV patients at risk of dementia

Findings may help develop biomarkers to identify HIV patients at risk of dementia

Since the introduction of the combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) in the mid-90s, the life expectancy of HIV patients has significantly improved. As a result, long-term complications are becoming more relevant: almost every second HIV patient is affected by neurocognitive disorders, which can lead to dementia. [More]
Researchers reveal new approaches for antimalarial drug development

Researchers reveal new approaches for antimalarial drug development

Melbourne researchers are making progress towards new antimalarial drugs, after revealing how an antibiotic called emetine blocks the molecular machinery that produces the proteins required for malaria parasite survival. [More]
Artificial cells to devour undesirables: an interview with Dr. Takanari Inoue

Artificial cells to devour undesirables: an interview with Dr. Takanari Inoue

If junk is not removed, pathological conditions can develop. For example, in one condition, the neutrophil count significantly decreases. Neutrophils remove pathogens and people with a reduced neutrophil count are more prone to infection, especially to rare bacteria that wouldn’t cause infection under normal conditions. [More]
European GMP certification awarded to Ajinomoto Althea

European GMP certification awarded to Ajinomoto Althea

Ajinomoto Althea, Inc. ("Althea"), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing services announced today that it has officially received its European GMP certificate issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). [More]
Scientists find epigenetic link between mother's diet and offspring's risk of future obesity

Scientists find epigenetic link between mother's diet and offspring's risk of future obesity

Many research studies have made it clear that a mother's eating habits prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and during lactation have a profound impact on her offspring and their propensity for developing weight problems, including obesity. [More]
Study suggests phages are sophisticated bacterial predators and can prevent infections

Study suggests phages are sophisticated bacterial predators and can prevent infections

In the battle between our immune systems and cholera bacteria, humans may have an unknown ally in bacteria-killing viruses known as phages. [More]
Finding could lead researchers to better understand development of psychiatric disorders

Finding could lead researchers to better understand development of psychiatric disorders

Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds - a finding that could lead researchers to better understand the development of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. [More]
Gamma H2AX Pharmacodynamic assay kit for the study of double strand DNA breaks announced by AMSBIO

Gamma H2AX Pharmacodynamic assay kit for the study of double strand DNA breaks announced by AMSBIO

AMSBIO announces the first commercially available gamma H2AX Pharmacodynamic assay kit for the study of double strand DNA breaks through the detection of gamma H2AX - a phosphorylated histone historically proven as a highly specific and sensitive molecular marker for double strand DNA damage detection. This new assay has been developed for anti-cancer drug screening, basic research and upcoming clinical trials providing one of many needed tools to support hypothesis-driven drug design strategies. [More]
Researchers reveal how alteration of single nucleotide could initiate fragile X syndrome

Researchers reveal how alteration of single nucleotide could initiate fragile X syndrome

Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide—the basic building block of DNA—could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. The study appears in The Journal of Cell Biology. [More]
Scientists identify developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces

Scientists identify developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces

Scientists have identified the developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces, a group of soil microbes that produce more than two-thirds of the world's naturally derived antibiotic medicines. [More]
BloodCenter's Erythroid Chimerism test available to monitor transplanted SCD patients

BloodCenter's Erythroid Chimerism test available to monitor transplanted SCD patients

BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories today announced the availability of an innovative Erythroid Chimerism test to monitor erythroid lineage chimerism in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. [More]
Report on Co-development Terms & Agreements in Pharma, Biotech and Diagnostics

Report on Co-development Terms & Agreements in Pharma, Biotech and Diagnostics

The Co-development Terms and Agreements in Pharma, Biotech and Diagnostics report provides comprehensive understanding and unprecedented access to the co-development deals and agreements entered into by the worlds leading life science companies. [More]