A gene that helps control the ageing process by acting as a cell’s internal clock has been linked to cancer by a major new study. Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found a genetic variant that influences the ageing process among four new variants they linked to myeloma – one of the most common types of blood cancer.
The biological information that makes us unique is encoded in our DNA. DNA damage is a natural biological occurrence that happens every time cells divide and multiply. External factors such as overexposure to sunlight can also damage DNA.
Transposons are DNA elements that can multiply and change their location within an organism’s genome. For years they were thought to be unimportant and were called “junk DNA.” Also referred to as transposable elements and jumping genes, they are snippets of “selfish DNA” that spread in their host genomes serving no other biological purpose but their own existence. Now, researchers challenge that understanding.
The National Institutes of Health announced it will award $17 million this year for 24 research projects designed to improve scientists’ understanding of a newly discovered type of cell-to-cell communication based on extracellular (outside the cell) RNA, also called exRNA.
Scientists are reporting “a significant step forward” in proving the feasibility of launching fleets of autonomous robots that search Earth’s deep oceans for exotic new life forms. They describe the successful deployment of the trailblazer for such a project—an autonomous seafloor lander equipped with a mini-laboratory the size of a kitchen trash can that is able to detect minute traces of DNA in the deep ocean.
When egg and sperm combine, the new embryo bustles with activity. Its cells multiply so rapidly they largely ignore their DNA, other than to copy it and to read just a few essential genes. The embryonic cells mainly rely on molecular instructions placed in the egg by its mother in the form of RNA. Then, during the so-called midblastula transition, cells start transcribing massive amounts of their own DNA.
At first glance, Botryllus schlosseri has very little in common with humans. The small sea creature fuses together with others to form colonies that look like psychedelic blobs, encrusting rocks and seaweeds. It can reproduce asexually, and an entire individual can be regenerated from its blood vessels alone. And yet, Botryllus is humans' closest living invertebrate relative.
A team of chemists has used a temperature-sensitive polymer to regulate DNA interactions in both a DNA-mediated assembly system and a DNA-encoded drug-delivery system. Their findings may improve how nanomaterials self-assemble into functional devices and how anticancer drugs, including doxorubicin, are delivered into the body.
A genetic study of childhood epilepsies has linked two new genes to severe forms of disease and provides a novel strategy for identifying therapy targets. This study used a cutting-edge genetic technique, called exome sequencing, to search for new mutations that are not inherited.
For the first time, scientists have directly observed events that lead to the formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells. The abnormality, called a translocation, occurs when part of a chromosome breaks off and becomes attached to another chromosome.
Scientists from Harvard Medical School and the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India, provide evidence that modern-day India is the result of recent population mixture among divergent demographic groups.
New research has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet, using DNA-based evidence to confirm a mathematical theory. So, the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more closely than previously thought.
Genomic sequencing experts and pharmacologists revealed a striking mutational signature of upper urinary tract cancers caused by aristolochic acid, a plant compound contained in herbal remedies used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments such as arthritis, gout and inflammation.
Some 60 years ago, a doctor in Baltimore removed cancer cells from a poor black patient named Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or consent. Those cells eventually helped lead to a multitude of medical treatments and lay the groundwork for the multibillion-dollar biotech industry. Now, or the first time, the Lacks family has been given a say over at least some research involving her cells.
A reduced caloric intake increases life expectancy in many species. But how diet prolongs the lives of model organisms, such as fruit flies and roundworms, has remained a mystery- until recently. Scientists discovered that a hormone receptor is one of the links between nutrition and life expectancy in roundworms.
Neurosurgeons from University of California, San Diego are among the first in the world to utilize real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance for delivery of gene therapy as a potential treatment for brain tumors. Using MRI navigational technology, neurosurgeons can inject a novel investigational gene therapy directly into a brain malignancy.
Research suggests that we all smell different smells thanks to our genes. Scientists tested nearly 200 people for their sensitivity to ten different flavors that occur in food and have identified some of the genetic differences that determine an individual’s ability to smell various odors.
Two volunteers who participated in the first public frying of hamburger grown in a lab say that it had the texture of meat but was short of flavor because of the lack of fat. A research team in the Netherlands developed the burger, which was grown in a laboratory from stem cells of cattle.
New research on the genetics of diabetes could one day help women know their risk for developing gestational diabetes before they become pregnant- and lead to preventive measures to protect the health of offspring. Gestational diabetes affects 18 percent of pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.
A new study found that RNA editing is not only regulated by sequences and structures near the editing sites but also by ones found much farther away. One newly discovered structure gives an editing enzyme an alternate docking site. The other appears to throttle competing splicing activity.
Scientists have used the powerful technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at an unprecedented level of accuracy. The technique could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of genetic diseases, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.
By studying how a virus that infects most people at some point in their lives packages its genetic material during infection, an international collaboration of researchers has made discoveries that help scientists better understand virus-host interactions and may open new avenues for therapies.
With modern surgical techniques increasingly able to save babies born with heart defects, biomedical researchers are hunting for ways to manage the subsequent rising prevalence of congenital heart disease. A research team has discovered a mutation to a gene that is key to cardiac development.
Male fruit flies have one X chromosome per cell, females have two. So genes on the male X must work twice as hard to produce the same amount of protein as its female counterparts. A research team has found a new switch involved in making this possible.
A good state of mind— that is, your happiness— affects your genes, scientists say. In the first study of its kind, researchers examined how positive psychology impacts human gene expression. What they found is that different types of happiness have surprisingly different effects on the human genome.