ANN ARBOR—A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. (more…)
Tag Archives: dna code
The first whole genome analysis of an octopus reveals unique features that likely played a role in the evolution of traits such as large complex nervous systems and adaptive camouflage. An international team of scientists sequenced the genome of the California two-spot octopus—the first cephalopod ever to be fully sequenced—and mapped gene expression profiles in 12 different tissues. The findings are published online Aug. 12 in Nature. (more…)
The hepatitis C virus has a previously unrecognized tactic to outwit antiviral responses and sustain a long-term infection. It also turns out that some people are genetically equipped with a strong countermeasure to the virus’ attempt to weaken the attack on it.
The details of these findings suggest potential targets for treating HCV, according to a research team led by Dr. Ram Savan, assistant professor of immunology at the University of Washington. The study was published in Nature Immunology. (more…)
Despite years of research, the genetic factors behind many human diseases and characteristics remain unknown. The inability to find the complete genetic causes of family traits such as height or the risk of type 2 diabetes has been called the “missing heritability” problem.
A new study by Princeton University researchers, however, suggests that missing heritability may not be missing after all — at least not in yeast cells, which the researchers used as a model for studying the problem. Published in the journal Nature, the results suggest that heritability in humans may be hidden due only to the limitations of modern research tools, but could be discovered if scientists know where (and how) to look. (more…)
A study dating the age of more than 1 million single-letter variations in the human DNA code reveals that most of these mutations are of recent origin, evolutionarily speaking. These kinds of mutations change one nucleotide – an A, C, T or G – in the DNA sequence. Over 86 percent of the harmful protein-coding mutations of this type arose in humans just during the past 5,000 to 10,000 years.
Some of the remaining mutations of this nature may have no effect on people, and a few might be beneficial, according to the project researchers. While each specific mutation is rare, the findings suggest that the human population acquired an abundance of these single-nucleotide genetic variants in a relatively short time. (more…)