Oncology & Cancer

Genetic alterations caused by cancer therapies identified

Living implies change. This is what happens to the cells of our bodies as we grow older: They accumulate genetic alterations, most of which are harmless. However, in some specific cases, these mutations can affect certain ...

Medications

Gene therapy: Development of new DNA transporters

Scientists at the Institute of Pharmacy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed new delivery vehicles for future gene therapies. A team of researchers led by Dr. Christian Wölk are using artificial ...

Oncology & Cancer

New candidate cancer genes identified using math models

Computational modeling is the use of computers to simulate and study the behavior of complex systems. Computational approaches are widely adopted in the bioimedical sciences and can be used to sift through large volumes of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How Crohn's disease-associated bacteria tolerate antibiotics

Bacteria associated with Crohn's disease rely on multiple stress responses to survive, multiply, and tolerate antibiotics within white blood cells called macrophages, according to a study published November 14 in the open-access ...

Oncology & Cancer

Study finds 'hyperhotspots' that could predict skin cancer risk

New research by Yale University scientists reports the discovery of "hyperhotspots" in the human genome, locations that are up to 170-times more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunlight compared to the genome ...

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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