Tag Archives: genetic material

Findings Show How AIDS Spread Across North America

A new technique that allowed researchers to analyze genetic material from serum samples of HIV patients taken before AIDS was known provides a glimpse into the beginnings of the epidemic.

Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. have reconstructed the origins of the AIDS pandemic in unprecedented detail. (more…)

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Small bits of genetic material fight cancer’s spread

A class of molecules called microRNAs may offer cancer patients two ways to combat their disease.

Researchers at Princeton University have found that microRNAs — small bits of genetic material capable of repressing the expression of certain genes — may serve as both therapeutic targets and predictors of metastasis, or a cancer’s spread from its initial site to other parts of the body. The research was published in the journal Cancer Cell. (more…)

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Life underground

Active microbes discovered far beneath seafloor in ancient ocean sediment

Microbes are living more than 500 feet beneath the seafloor in 5 million-year-old sediment, according to new findings by researchers at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Genetic material in mud from the bottom of the ocean — called the deep biosphere —revealed an ecosystem of active bacteria, fungi and other microscopic organisms at depths deeper than a skyscraper is high. The findings were published in Nature on June 12. (more…)

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Carnivorous Plant Throws Out ‘Junk’ DNA

The newly sequenced genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant contradicts the notion that vast quantities of noncoding DNA are crucial for complex life. UA researchers helped solve the puzzle by providing specialized genome analyses and computational software.

Genes – the bits of DNA that code for proteins – make up about 2 percent of the human genome. The rest consists of a genetic material known as noncoding DNA, and scientists have spent years puzzling over why this material exists in such voluminous quantities. (more…)

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Fungi, Fungi Everywhere

New research shows fungi living beneath the seafloor are widespread

Fungi living beneath the seafloor are widespread in ocean environments around the world, according to a new paper by scientists at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

“They’re ubiquitous,” said co-author Jennifer Biddle, assistant professor of marine biosciences at UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “They are everywhere.” (more…)

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Aging Cells Lose Their Grip on DNA Rogues

Transposable elements are mobile strands of DNA that insert themselves into chromosomes with mostly harmful consequences. Cells try to keep them locked down, but in a new study, Brown University researchers report that aging cells lose their ability to maintain this control. The result may be a further decline in the health of senescent cells and of the aging bodies they compose.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Even in our DNA there is no refuge from rogues that prey on the elderly. Parasitic strands of genetic material called transposable elements — transposons — lurk in our chromosomes, poised to wreak genomic havoc. Cells have evolved ways to defend themselves, but in a new study, Brown University researchers describe how cells lose this ability as they age, possibly resulting in a decline in their function and health. (more…)

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Virus Caught in the Act of Infecting a Cell

About the video: watch an animation showing the changes in the structure of a T7 virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium.

AUSTIN, Texas — The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) Medical School this week in Science Express. (more…)

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Mutations in Genes that Modify DNA Packaging Result in form of Muscular Dystrophy

A recent finding by medical geneticists sheds new light on how facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy develops and how it might be treated. More commonly known as FSHD, the devastating disease affects both men and women.

FSHD is usually an inherited genetic disorder, yet sometimes appears spontaneously via new mutations in individuals with no family history of the condition.

“People with the condition experience progressive muscle weakness and about 1 in 5 require wheelchair assistance by age 40,” said Dr. Daniel G. Miller, University of Washington associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Genetic Medicine. Miller and his worldwide collaborators study the molecular events leading to symptoms of FSHD in the hopes of designing therapies to prevent the emergence of symptoms or reduce their severity. (more…)

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