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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.
Lipid-based protein delivery system efficiently transports proteins into living cells

Lipid-based protein delivery system efficiently transports proteins into living cells

BioPORTER® Protein Delivery Reagent from AMSBIO is a unique lipid formulation that allows direct translocation of proteins into living cells. [More]
miRNA expression and inhibition: an interview with Maja Petkovic, AMSBIO

miRNA expression and inhibition: an interview with Maja Petkovic, AMSBIO

RNA interference is a process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression. This gene silencing process is controlled by RNA-induced silencing complex or RISC and is initiated by small duplex RNA molecules or miRNA that is present inside cell plasma. [More]

Bio-Rad Laboratories buys GnuBIO

GnuBIO, a privately-held life sciences company that has developed a droplet-based DNA sequencing technology, today announced that it was acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. With this acquisition, Bio-Rad will expand its Digital Biology Center and establish a research and development site in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [More]
1/4 human tumor exist genetic polymorphisms linked with increased risk of cancer

1/4 human tumor exist genetic polymorphisms linked with increased risk of cancer

In 10% of human tumors there is a family history of hereditary disease associated with mutations in identified genes. The best examples are the cases of polyps in the large intestine associated with the APC gene and breast cancer associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. [More]
Researchers develop novel assay to identify genes controlling pharynx regeneration in flatworms

Researchers develop novel assay to identify genes controlling pharynx regeneration in flatworms

As multicellular creatures go, planaria worms are hardly glamorous. To say they appear rudimentary is more like it. These tiny aquatic flatworms that troll ponds and standing water resemble brown tubes equipped with just the basics: a pair of beady light-sensing "eyespots" on their head and a feeding tube called the pharynx (which doubles as the excretory tract) that protrudes from a belly sac to suck up food. [More]
Tumor-suppressing protein acts as dimmer switch to dial down gene expression

Tumor-suppressing protein acts as dimmer switch to dial down gene expression

A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression. It does this by reading a chemical message attached to another protein that's tightly intertwined with DNA, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. [More]

Comprehensive genomic analysis of low-grade brain tumors sorts into three categories

Comprehensive genomic analysis of low-grade brain tumors sorts them into three categories, one of which has the molecular hallmarks and shortened survival of glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal of brain tumors, researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014. [More]

Scientists design new system for molecular blood group typing

Scientists in France have designed a new system for molecular blood group typing that offers blood banks the possibility of extensive screening of blood donors at a relatively low cost. Their approach is described in the current issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. [More]

Covaris' European subsidiary to commence operations on May 1, 2014

Covaris, Inc., an innovator in the life science tools and the clinical diagnostic market spaces, announced today that its European subsidiary, Covaris Ltd, which is located in the United Kingdom, will commence operations on May 1, 2014. [More]
Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on the genes of children as young as age 9, according to a study led by Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University researchers. Such chronic stress during youth leads to physiological weathering similar to aging. [More]
Multiple genomic data could help improve studies of association between genes and disease

Multiple genomic data could help improve studies of association between genes and disease

The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like "personalized medicine" and "big data" and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. In a pair of new papers, Brown University epidemiologist Yen-Tsung Huang and colleagues show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease. [More]
Novel discovery could lead to new therapy to combat obesity, diabetes

Novel discovery could lead to new therapy to combat obesity, diabetes

By manipulating a biochemical process that underlies cells' energy-burning abilities, investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have made a novel discovery that could lead to a new therapy to combat obesity and diabetes. [More]
Rice University research targets Parkinson's, Huntington's and other proteasomal diseases

Rice University research targets Parkinson's, Huntington's and other proteasomal diseases

Synthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice University is helping them see, for the first time, how to regulate cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases. [More]

Food experts to discuss pros and cons of GM crops at Food Integrity and Traceability Conference

One of the world's most contentious food issues - Genetically Modified (GM) crops - will be debated by some of the world's leading authorities on the subject at Queen's University Belfast today (Wednesday day 9 April). [More]
Study: Honokiol reduces proliferation of renal cell carcinoma

Study: Honokiol reduces proliferation of renal cell carcinoma

A new study shows that honokiol, a small molecule polyphenol extract derived from Magnolia officinalis bark, reduces proliferation of renal cell carcinoma. [More]

Research shows blocking DNA repair improves radiation therapy for glioblastomas

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas. [More]
DNA modifications in blood are directly related to changes in brain tissues, say researchers

DNA modifications in blood are directly related to changes in brain tissues, say researchers

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues. [More]

Researchers find new molecular targets for aggressive brain tumor

Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth will present a scientific poster on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the American Association of Cancer Researchers conference in San Diego, CA. The research identifies a potential characteristic for predicting outcome in a deadly form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. [More]
Scientists uncover surprising link between brain development and gene tied to breast cancer

Scientists uncover surprising link between brain development and gene tied to breast cancer

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising-and crucial-link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. [More]

Nanostring Technologies launches nCounter PanCancer Pathways Panel

NanoString Technologies, Inc., (NASDAQ:NSTG) a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, today announced the launch of the nCounter® PanCancer Pathways Panel, a highly-multiplexed, digital gene expression assay that offers a unique way for translational researchers to investigate cancer biology across all major cancer pathways. [More]