Tag Archives: DNA

Frederick Sanger: Gone and should not be forgotten

If you don’t know about Fred Sanger, it’s not surprising. He was a quiet man, far more interested in his work than in recognition. In today’s world of media hypertrophy, that work generally gets a one-column, three-inch obituary, or about fifteen seconds of airtime. Here’s a question. How many people have won more than one […]
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A tiny Big Deal: Inserting DNA into a single cell

Once in a while it’s important to remind ourselves that not all important advances in science and technology are big (think of the Large Hadron Collider), wide ranging (like stem cell medicine), or controversial (global warming). Sometimes the advances are tiny (physically), quiet (taking place in research centers not in the media mainstream), and incremental […]
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Epigenetics ‘leaks’ into trans-generational inheritance

One of the bigger and most important ‘debates’ in biology – both now and in the past – is whether adaptations made for the environment of a single individual can be inherited by its offspring. This is not about genetic inheritance, mutation, and the reproduction of the genes in DNA. This is about epigenetics, the […]
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Gene expression and regulation: It’s the location, baby.

Perhaps it is something like the real-estate business. What three things make a difference for selling a house? Location, location and location. Thus it may be for at least some of the crucial genes involved in the development of the human embryo. Specifically, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg, Germany) found that the […]
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Sci-Fi Movie Review: Prometheus

[Prometheus. Released June 2012. Directed by Ridley Scott, Writers John Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. DVD/Blu-Ray released. As usual, this “post-viewing review” contains many spoilers.] The opening scene of Prometheus, which demands interpretation right out of the reel, is of a humanoid alien imbibing some kind of nanotechnology that transforms him (it?, there seem to be […]
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Overcoming mitochondrial diseases by having three parents

Whenever I hear about mitochondria, I think of midichlorians, “the force” of John Lucas’ Star Wars, the life energy that binds the universe by being part of every living thing, but especially concentrated in Jedi…and Sith. I don’t know if knowledge of mitochondria inspired Lucas, but there are strong parallels to midichlorians. Mitochondria are part […]
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Fetal DNA sequencing: Reading ma and pa’s genome

Depending on how successful interpretation of the personal genome becomes, any method that makes the process easier for collecting the DNA is progress. That’s one way of saying that the future of personal genome medicine depends on the research that finds the links between genes and disease, and how easy and inexpensive it is to […]
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Bonobo Genome: Our ever-lovin’ kin get closer

Ulindi, a bonobo to love……..credit: Michael Seres These days the genome sequencing of yet another plant, animal or insect barely raises an eyebrow, even in the scientific community. It’s important work that increasingly powerful technology and declining cost has made routine, which is a good thing. Once in a while though, a new ‘complete genome […]
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New sequencing technique opens doors for epigenetics

What’s the difference between 5mC and 5hmC? Yes, the “h” but it is much more than that. Both are in biochemistry shorthand, which unless you’re a geneticist or biochemist you’ve probably never heard of and are not likely to remember. So let’s cut to the chase, oversimplified though it may be: As you almost certainly […]
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microDNA: A new piece of genetics puzzle

In the beginning the big discovery was the existence of DNA and RNA. Eventually more refined experiments and better equipment revealed that RNA in particular came in many forms and functions, for example, micro RNA (miRNA) for DNA regulation or piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) for transposon defense. So far there are 25-27 types of RNA. However, […]
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