DNA, the molecule that acts as the carrier of genetic information in all forms of life, is highly resistant against alteration by ultraviolet light, but understanding the mechanism for its photostability presents some puzzling problems. A key aspect is the interaction between the four chemical bases that make up the DNA molecule. Researchers at Kiel University have succeeded in showing that DNA strands differ in their light sensitivity depending on their base sequences. Their results are reported by Nina Schwalb and colleagues in the current issue of the journal Science appearing on October 10, 2008. Continue reading “Can genetic information be controlled by light?”
In a groundbreaking study led by an eminent molecular biologist at Florida State University, researchers have discovered that as embryonic stem cells turn into different cell types, there are dramatic corresponding changes to the order in which DNA is replicated and reorganized.
The findings bridge a critical knowledge gap for stem cell biologists, enabling them to better understand the enormously complex process by which DNA is repackaged during differentiation — when embryonic stem cells, jacks of all cellular trades, lose their anything-goes attitude and become masters of specialized functions.
A multi-institutional team of researchers, including scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School, have developed a powerful tool for genomic research and medicine. The robust method will allow researchers to generate synthetic enzymes that can target and manipulate DNA sequences for inactivation or repair.
Continue reading “Consortium develops new method to manipulate genetic material”
A dynamic 3D computer animated video takes you “inside” for a close-up look at how we’re made. 3D modeling and animation created by Bill Baker, Bakedmedia, Inc. and Mike Fisher for the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Protein chips – or ‘protein arrays’ as they are more commonly known – are objects such as slides that have proteins attached to them and allow important scientific data about the behaviour of proteins to be gathered.
Functional protein arrays could give scientists the ability to run tests on tens of thousands of different proteins simultaneously, observing how they interact with cells, other proteins, DNA and drugs.
Continue reading “Scientists have developed a new method for making biological ‘chips’”
Building faultless objects from faulty components may seem like alchemy. Yet scientists from the Weizmann Institute’s Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and Biological Chemistry Departments have achieved just that, using a mathematical concept called recursion. ‘We all use recursion, intuitively, to compose and comprehend sentences like ‘the dog that chases the cat that bit the mouse that ate the cheese that the man dropped is black,’’ says Prof. Ehud Shapiro. Continue reading “Scientists build a better DNA molecule”