News tagged with dna

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

Pancreatic cancer has four distinct types

Researchers have found that pancreatic cancer can be split into four unique types, a discovery that could be used to improve treatments for the disease, according to a study published in Nature.

Feb 27, 2015
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Leukemia-associated mutations almost inevitable as we age

It is almost inevitable that we will develop genetic mutations associated with leukaemia as we age, according to research published today in Cell Reports. Based on a study of 4219 people without any evidence of blood cancer ...

Feb 26, 2015
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Epigenome orchestrates embryonic development

The early stages of embryonic development shape our cells and tissues for life. It is during this time that our newly formed cells are transformed into heart, skin, nerve or other cell types. Scientists are finding that this ...

Feb 23, 2015
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Exploring the genetic origins of autism

The geneticist Sébastien Jacquemont is the new holder of the Canada Research Chair in Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Associated Dysregulation in Energy Balance at the University of Montreal. He moved to the ...

Feb 25, 2015
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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