Tag Archives | DNA


Quadruple helix DNA discovered in human cells

Cambridge University researchers have published a paper in Nature Chemistry showing that four-stranded “quadruple helix” DNA structures exist within the human genome. The new discovery coincides with the 60th anniversary of Watson and Crick’s first description of the interweaving double helix DNA structure – the chemical code for all life. Studies over the last couple […]

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Neanderthal nookie notion nixed

Hybridization, the idea that modern humans and Neanderthals once interbred is probably wrong, say researchers at the University of Cambridge who suggest that a common ancestry better explains the DNA we share with Neanderthals. The new work, that details an alternative explanation for the 1-4 percent shared Eurasian and Neanderthal DNA, appears in the journal […]

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First genetically evolved semiconductors created

By directing the evolution of silicateins, the proteins responsible for the formation of silica skeletons in marine sponges, scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara have synthesized novel semiconducting materials. “In the realm of human technologies it would be a new method, but it’s an ancient approach in nature,” said Lukmaan Bawazer, the first […]

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Spin sensitivity of DNA surprises researchers

Weizmann Institute researchers investigating quantum interactions in biological molecules have shown that DNA is extremely sensitive to particle “spin.” Their experiment shows that DNA can somehow discern and “filter” the electrons moving through it, a finding that could impact both medical science and electronics research. Quantum phenomena are generally associated with extremely small systems, usually […]

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Molecular “robot” built from DNA

Scientists from Columbia University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan, and Caltech have programmed an autonomous molecular “robot” made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track. The development could ultimately lead to molecular systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale reconfigurable […]

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Worm DNA preserved in tequila

Not swallowing the worm at the bottom of a bottle of mescal doesn’t mean you’ll avoid worminess, say scientists at the University of Guelph who have discovered that the mescal, far from destroying the DNA of the agave butterfly caterpillar, actually leeches it out of the worm and preserves it. Reporting their findings in the […]

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Daily sex boosts male fertility

Ejaculating more frequently improves men’s sperm quality by reducing the amount of DNA damage and improving sperm motility, Australian researchers reported to the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam. Until now there has been no evidence-based consensus as to whether or not men should refrain from sex […]

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BPA exposure during pregnancy alters offspring’s DNA

In animal studies, exposure to bisphenol A (BPA – a common chemical found in many plastic household items) during pregnancy is known to cause fertility defects in the offspring, and now researchers have told The Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting in Washington how those defects occur. The new findings join a growing body of animal […]

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Redefining DNA’s structure for fun and profit

In a bold rewrite of the recipe for life, scientists have designed a new type of DNA with 12 chemical letters instead of the usual four. This artificial genetic system is already helping to usher in the era of personalized medicine for millions of patients with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases and may one day […]

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Social interactions alter gene expression

Our DNA determines a lot about who we are and how we relate to others, but recent studies involving social animals show that the interaction between genes and behavior is more of a two-way street than most of us realize. Several neuroscientists have penned a review on the subject in the journal Scienceand concluded that […]

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