News tagged with dna

Related topics: genes , protein , cells , genome , chromosomes

Study shows epigenetic changes can drive cancer

Cancer has long been thought to be primarily a genetic disease, but in recent decades scientists have come to believe that epigenetic changes – which don't change the DNA sequence but how it is 'read' – also play a role ...

Jul 26, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (5) | comments 2

Making a meal of GM food labelling

In all countries in which genetically modified (GM) food is sold, such as Australia and the US, the issue of food labelling has been hotly debated. ...

Jul 01, 2014
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Secrets of youth, based on prevention

Metabolites found in our blood are linked to ageing and can signpost the risk of developing age-related diseases. This may help avoid such risks and reduce the rate at which we age biologically.

Jun 26, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 1

Breakthrough in understanding immune response

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers led by Professor Mark Lindsay from our Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology has made a breakthrough in identifying the genes that regulate the immune response.

Jun 23, 2014
popularity 4.5 / 5 (2) | comments 0

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and some viruses. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints or a recipe, or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information.

Chemically, DNA consists of two long polymers of simple units called nucleotides, with backbones made of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds. These two strands run in opposite directions to each other and are therefore anti-parallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of molecules called bases. It is the sequence of these four bases along the backbone that encodes information. This information is read using the genetic code, which specifies the sequence of the amino acids within proteins. The code is read by copying stretches of DNA into the related nucleic acid RNA, in a process called transcription.

Within cells, DNA is organized into X-shaped structures called chromosomes. These chromosomes are duplicated before cells divide, in a process called DNA replication. Eukaryotic organisms (animals, plants, fungi, and protists) store most of their DNA inside the cell nucleus and some of their DNA in the mitochondria (animals and plants) and chloroplasts (plants only). Prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) however, store their DNA in the cell's cytoplasm. Within the chromosomes, chromatin proteins such as histones compact and organize DNA. These compact structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins, helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA