Tag Archives: rna

Mehr als 100.000 Schalter

Freiburger Forscher entschlüsseln erstmalig den Atlas der Genregulatoren in menschlichen Herzzellen

Die Information für den Aufbau von Körperzellen wird im Erbgut – in der DNA – gespeichert. Hier findet man alle Baupläne für die mehr als 20.000 verschiedenen Proteine des menschlichen Körpers. Jede einzelne Zelle alleine benötigt mehrere Tausend verschiedene Proteine für ihre Funktion. Fasst man alle Protein-Baupläne zusammen, passt diese Information auf weniger als zwei Prozent der gesamten DNA. Wofür sind die übrigen 98 Prozent des Erbguts nötig? Hier liegen die Schalter, die alle Gene in ihrer Aktivität kontrollieren. (more…)

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Silent mutations speak up

University of Utah researchers find that multiple silent mutations greatly impact protein translation

So-called silent DNA mutations earned their title because, according to the fundamental rules of biology, they should be inconsequential. Reported on June 5 in PLOS Genetics online, University of Utah researchers experimentally proved there are frequent exceptions to the rule. The work was conducted in the bacteria, Salmonella enterica, used to study basic biological mechanisms that are often conserved in humans. (more…)

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Puzzling Question in Bacterial Immune System Answered

Berkeley Researchers Uncover the Key to Self-Awareness in Genome Editor

A central question has been answered regarding a protein that plays an essential role in the bacterial immune system and is fast becoming a valuable tool for genetic engineering. A team of researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have determined how the bacterial enzyme known as Cas9, guided by RNA, is able to identify and degrade foreign DNA during viral infections, as well as induce site-specific genetic changes in animal and plant cells. Through a combination of single-molecule imaging and bulk biochemical experiments, the research team has shown that the genome-editing ability of Cas9 is made possible by the presence of short DNA sequences known as “PAM,” for protospacer adjacent motif. (more…)

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Online Science Expedition Brings Deep Sea Vents to the Computer Screen

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s ‘Dive and Discover’ Begins Jan. 2, 2014

Scientists and engineers using advanced technology and a unique robotic vehicle to study the deep sea will also be using their computers to interact with students, teachers, and the public about the research they are conducting.

Working along the East Pacific Rise, a mid-ocean ridge about 600 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico, aboard the research vessel Atlantis, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues will examine life in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—deep-sea hydrothermal vents. (more…)

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Tactics of new Middle East virus suggest treating by altering lung cells’ response to infection

A new virus that causes severe breathing distress and kidney failure elicits a distinctive airway cell response to allow it to multiply.  Scientists studying the Human Coronavirus-Erasmus Medical Center, which first appeared April 2012 in the Middle East, have discovered helpful details about its stronghold tactics.

Their findings predict that certain currently available compounds might treat the infection.  These could act not by killing the virus directly but by keeping lung cells from being forced to create a hospitable environment for the virus to reproduce.  The researchers caution that their lab and computer predictions would need to be tested to see if the drugs work clinically. (more…)

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The Compound in the Mediterranean Diet that Makes Cancer Cells ‘Mortal’

Scientists Design ‘Fishing’ Technique to Show How Foods Improve Health

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells’ “superpower” to escape death.

By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer cells into normal cells that die as scheduled.

One way that cancer cells thrive is by inhibiting a process that would cause them to die on a regular cycle that is subject to strict programming. This study in cells, led by researchers at The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that a compound in certain plant-based foods, called apigenin, could stop breast cancer cells from inhibiting their own death. (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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Couch Potatoes May Be Genetically Predisposed to Being Lazy, MU Study Finds

Genetics could be a reason some people are motivated to exercise more than others

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Studies show 97 percent of American adults get less than 30 minutes of exercise a day, which is the minimum recommended amount based on federal guidelines. New research from the University of Missouri suggests certain genetic traits may predispose people to being more or less motivated to exercise and remain active. Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, along with his post-doctoral fellow Michael Roberts, were able to selectively breed rats that exhibited traits of either extreme activity or extreme laziness. They say these rats indicate that genetics could play a role in exercise motivation, even in humans.

“We have shown that it is possible to be genetically predisposed to being lazy,” Booth said. “This could be an important step in identifying additional causes for obesity in humans, especially considering dramatic increases in childhood obesity in the United States. It would be very useful to know if a person is genetically predisposed to having a lack of motivation to exercise, because that could potentially make them more likely to grow obese.” (more…)

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