DNA News and Research RSS Feed - DNA News and Research

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.
Babies suffering from life-threatening bacterial infections could benefit from improved treatment

Babies suffering from life-threatening bacterial infections could benefit from improved treatment

Babies suffering from life-threatening bacterial infections such as sepsis could benefit from improved treatment, thanks to a ground-breaking study. [More]
Researchers find that nanopores in material MoS2 could sequence DNA more accurately

Researchers find that nanopores in material MoS2 could sequence DNA more accurately

Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process. [More]
Combination of NASBA and real-time qPCR detects aspergillosis with 100% accuracy

Combination of NASBA and real-time qPCR detects aspergillosis with 100% accuracy

The fungal infection invasive aspergillosis (IA) can be life threatening, especially in patients whose immune systems are weakened by chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs. Despite the critical need for early detection, IA remains difficult to diagnose. [More]
Findings open up improved treatment possibilities for children suffering from leukaemia

Findings open up improved treatment possibilities for children suffering from leukaemia

A research team led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists have made a key finding which is expected to open up improved treatment possibilities for children suffering from leukaemia. [More]

University of Alaska Fairbanks receives $18.8M from NIH for biomedical research

The University of Alaska Fairbanks received an $18.8 million award from the National Institutes of Health to fund statewide biomedical research and student training focused on the interface of health, disease and the environment in people and animals. [More]
Researchers make significant step forward in understanding mechanisms that cause leukaemia

Researchers make significant step forward in understanding mechanisms that cause leukaemia

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have discovered mutations in genes that lead to childhood leukaemia of the acute lymphoblastic type - the most common childhood cancer in the world. [More]
Findings may lead to better ways for preventing gum disease, diabetes and Crohn's disease

Findings may lead to better ways for preventing gum disease, diabetes and Crohn's disease

Bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you're diseased, according to research using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. [More]
Identifying epigenetic markers in cancer cells could improve patient treatment

Identifying epigenetic markers in cancer cells could improve patient treatment

Scientists have known for decades that cancer can be caused by genetic mutations, but more recently they have discovered that chemical modifications of a gene can also contribute to cancer. [More]
Screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy results in reduced incidence, death rate of colorectal cancer

Screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy results in reduced incidence, death rate of colorectal cancer

Among about 100,000 study participants, screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy resulted in a reduced incidence and rate of death of colorectal cancer, compared to no screening, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA. [More]
Research: Oxidative stress predicts hip fracture in postmenopausal women

Research: Oxidative stress predicts hip fracture in postmenopausal women

Oxidative stress is a significant predictor for hip fracture in postmenopausal women, according to new research led by University of Cincinnati (UC) epidemiologists. [More]
Researchers find new ways to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

Researchers find new ways to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

A leading scientist based at Keele University in North Staffordshire has been awarded a grant of around £20,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Campaign to find new ways to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, the most common type of the disease. [More]
Screening test for colon cancer wins FDA approval

Screening test for colon cancer wins FDA approval

The test, called Cologuard, can detect genetic mutations in patients' stool samples that are associated with cancerous and precancerous growths. [More]
23andMe, Pfizer partner to explore genetic factors associated with IBD

23andMe, Pfizer partner to explore genetic factors associated with IBD

23andMe, the leading personal genetics company today announced an agreement with Pfizer Inc. in which the companies will aim to enroll 10,000 people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in a research initiative designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity and response to treatments for IBD. [More]
Epigenetics has a large say in blood formation

Epigenetics has a large say in blood formation

Blood stem cells have the potential to turn into any type of blood cell, whether it be the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, or the many types of white blood cells of the immune system that help fight infection. [More]
Findings may lead to new tools in understanding human cognitive development, neuropsychiatric disorders

Findings may lead to new tools in understanding human cognitive development, neuropsychiatric disorders

How genes affect intelligence is complicated. Multiple genes, many yet unknown, are thought to interact among themselves and with environmental factors to influence the diverse abilities involved in intelligence. [More]
Feist-Weiller, Caris Life Sciences partner to offer breakthrough technology to cancer patients

Feist-Weiller, Caris Life Sciences partner to offer breakthrough technology to cancer patients

Doctors at the LSU Health Shreveport Feist-Weiller Cancer Center will now have access to innovative, precision-medicine technology that determines the unique biological characteristics of each individual patient's cancer tumor. [More]
First Edition: August 12, 2014

First Edition: August 12, 2014

Today's headlines include stories about how the federal government's experience with healthcare.gov has led to the creation of the U.S. Digital Service. [More]
Researchers discover how arginine starvation specifically kills cancer cells

Researchers discover how arginine starvation specifically kills cancer cells

Researchers at UC Davis, City of Hope, Taipai Medical University and National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan have discovered how a drug that deprives the cells of a key amino acid specifically kills cancer cells. [More]
Seven physicians receive ASTRO grants to advance radiation oncology research

Seven physicians receive ASTRO grants to advance radiation oncology research

The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected seven leading physicians to receive a total of $675,000 in awards and grants to advance radiation oncology research. The ASTRO Junior Faculty Career Research Training Award, the ASTRO Residents/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Research Seed Grant and the ASTRO/Radiation Oncology Institute Comparative Effectiveness Research Award will fund studies in radiation and cancer biology, radiation physics, translational research, outcomes/health services research and comparative effectiveness research within radiation oncology. [More]
Bacteria may depend more on gastrointestinal age than on environmental factors in babies

Bacteria may depend more on gastrointestinal age than on environmental factors in babies

Scientists believe babies are born with digestive systems containing few or no bacteria. Their guts then quickly become colonized by microbes — good and bad — as they nurse or take bottles, receive medication and even as they are passed from one adoring relative to another. [More]