Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the carrier of genetic information, including for all known living organisms. The only known exceptions are RNA viruses.

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Does GFAJ-1 use Adenosine triarsenate as its energy currency?

Regarding the bacteria found in Mono Lake, CA that scientists believe uses or can use arsenic in its DNA backbone where life as we know it uses phosphorus (according to their experiments depriving the ...
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How are we able to find the specific sites at which DNA binding proteins bind?

We know that some DNA binding proteins are site specific, that is they recognise and bind to a specific nucleotide sequence. My question is how can we precisely tell at which sites they bind? Is it ...
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What would need to be discovered to prove there is extraterrestrial life?

Curiosity is on the Martian surface and is equipped with a slew of laboratory equipment. What would Curiosity need to discover to prove there is or has been life on Mars? Would it have to find DNA (or ...
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How many gigabytes of DNA are there on earth?

The human genome is about 770 MB, the C. elegans genome is about 100 MB, the yeast S. cerevisiae is about 12 MB. Different other genomes have been sequenced: how many GB of genomic DNA we have now? ...
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638 views

Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do?

As I understand it from my basic chemistry, there are some fundamental reactions that exist between any acid and other substances for example acid-base reactions that form a salt, and the existence of ...
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How can I avoid digesting protein-bound DNA?

I'm interested in sequencing and analyzing the bound DNA, and minimizing the amount of unbound DNA that gets sequenced through digestion. When digesting protein-bound DNA, is all of the unbound DNA ...
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103 views

Evolution of the Redundancy of the Genetic Code

In short Looking at the genetic code, it appears that most redundancy is on the third letter rather than on the first or the second letter of the codon. Why has it evolved this way? Longer version ...
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Does every mitochondrion in a cell contain the same DNA?

I know that mitochondria of eukaryotes have their own DNA, more similar to that of bacteria than to the rest of the cell's DNA. I also know that a cell can have plenty of mitochondria, and I ...
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132 views

What are the costs associated with carrying lots of genetic material

What are the costs (if any) associated with carrying lots of genetic material (Big genome size)? energy for copying? raw material for copying? space in the cell? Maintenance cost (matter and ...
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Does our DNA change during our lives?

As far as I know, DNA is the construction protocol of all organisms on Earth. Does it change when influenced by time and environment (physical laws)? As parents with schizophrenia are more likely to ...
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Looking for a DNA sequence

I am not a biologist. Please pardon me, if my question does not make sense. I am trying to obtain a DNA sequence for pattern analysis in Matlab. I used to generate random sequence ...
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What is it about the housekeeping genes that makes them almost immune to gene regulation?

When it comes to eukaryotes, including ourselves, we have all different kinds of specialized cells and tissues that are so different, yet originally all came from the same single cell. And apparently ...
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What distinguishes “coding” and “noncoding” DNA from each other?

I've been reading a bit about "junk DNA" and how much of our genome consists of this "non coding DNA" in comparison to "coding DNA". I'm just an interested layperson but I thought all combinations of ...
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What is the effective relatedness of inbreeding?

If a human inbreeds with a relative, how distant does the relative have to be before the homozygosity in the child is no higher than if the mate were randomly chosen from the global population?
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BLAST DNA Sequences Reversed

I have been trying to learn some basic DNA sequencing techniques and have been using BLAST as a reference. I thought that I was starting to get it, but then I cam across this: It looks like it's ...
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Can females be recreated from male DNA?

A chromosomal male is XY and a chromosomal female is XX. Now imagine if, one day, this world has only males - is it possible to "recreate" a female by using two X chromosomes from two different males? ...
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why is DNA antiparallel? Can it be parallel?

My biology textbook mentions that DNA is antiparallel and it got me wondering... Can DNA be parallel? What would happen if it was parallel? could DNA still replicate right?
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Can forensic DNA analysis be used to generate a visual approximation of a suspect?

In light of the current US supreme court case, I'm curious if enough information can be teased out of a DNA sample to get a "reasonable" approximation of the suspect (never mind the legality). I ...
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Finding DNA from Amino Acid sequence problem

My attempt: First I took the single letter AA codes and made them amino acids. So, the first one is Trp which is 5'-UGG-3'. From this I got the DNA sequence 3'-CCA-5'. However, the correct ...
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Does extracted DNA degrade after a certain time period?

For direct use as template in PCR runs. Chelex 100 5-10% w/v extraction. Without listing the whole protocol, in the end the supernate is decanted off and then stored at 4°C. I was under the impression ...
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How is instinctual information encoded?

If instincts are passed on through genetics, how is that information encoded in DNA? For example, spiders instinctively know how to spin webs. Does that imply that the algorithm for web spinning is ...
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What kind of event would cause the current Mitochondrial Eve to be replaced by a new one?

Apparently all living humans are matrilineal descendants of a single woman who lived 200.000 years ago. She is called Mitochondrial Eve. But at the time she lived there was a different matrilineal ...
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Mitochondrial DNA and recombination

Firstly I could do with a brief description of mitochondrial DNA. How does the structure of DNA in mitochondria compare to animal DNA (for the sake of simplicity let's say human - some animals might ...
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Horizontal gene transfer from humans

It is known that some viruses embed themselves in the human genome. Is there a mechanism by which human genes can be transferred to other animals or plants by means of viruses shuttling them from ...
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How realistic is to use DNA for long term storage?

This is mainly a followup question to the recent paper Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA. Personally, while I agree about the data density of the format, I can't help point out the ...
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What makes DNA sticky-ends sticky?

When restriction enzymes jaggedly cut double stranded DNA it results in so called sticky ends. What is the substance that makes the DNA sticky?
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Why does A pair with T and G with C?

DNA is made up of pairs on AT and GC base pairs. I know that A only pairs with T and G only with C. Does this apply just to humans, or are there animals where T will pair with G? Also, surely there ...
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Altering the human genome

I recently had a conversation with a rather unusual gentleman who was, let's say, more than a little partial to conspiracy theories. He has this idea that governments are lowering "nanowires" from ...
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Free Radicals for aging

From my understanding free radicals play a slight role in ageing. In what ways are they so damaging, and can a restricted diet reduce production of free radicals?
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Are non-coding RNAs introns?

I am slightly confused as to what part of the genome codes for non-coding RNAs. Is it the introns? This would make sense to me as to why they are not transcribed as the introns are not transcribed. Or ...
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What is the difference between sequence, reads, and contigs of genetic material?

Can someone explain the differences between sequence, reads, and contigs of genetic material such as DNA, if possible with an example? I am new to bioinformatics, and I have not found any conclusive ...
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What's the use of DNA sequencing results?

Suppose I sequence DNA of some organism (a human perhaphs) and now I have the entire DNA "string" - the sequence of nucleotides. What's the use of that? It's just a "string" where nucleotides encode ...
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Do DNA repressors exist?

I know about enhancers and the mechanism that lead them to increase the gene expression of their targets but I was wondering if similarly DNA repressors exist. I know about protein repressors but I am ...
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What causes skewed lanes in a DNA gel electrophoresis experiment?

In gel electrophoresis, what causes effects like these (see collumn 11 in the first one, an collumn 6 in the second). ? (These images were samples that I took from an online activity we did for ...
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Why are 3 nucleotides used as codons for amino-acid mapping in DNA?

DNA is made of 4 unique nucleotides. When coding for a protein, a sequence of 3 nucleotides is used to code for each amino acid. Why are codons 3 nucleotides in length? A related question can be ...
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Does RNA polymerase move around DNA or does DNA rotate benath the polymerase?

I'm thinking of the human genome specfically, but more general answers are welcome. As RNA polymerase moves along the DNA helix it follows a single strand. The two DNA strands are unwound locally ...
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How does one measure the length of telomeres?

My questions are: What techniques are available for doing so? Are they destructive ? What is their accuracy ?
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What is the origin of “melting” in molecular genetics?

I'm reading some papers about prokaryotic transcription mechanisms, and I've come across a term I haven't heard before: DNA melting or promoter melting. After reading a bit, it's pretty clear that ...
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How can I produce milligram quantities of an isotope-labeled DNA oligomer?

I'd like to produce a specific DNA sequence on a milligram-scale and 13C15N-label it. The sequence is around 35 nucleotides long, so chemical synthesis is out due to the exorbitant costs. I'm also ...
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How can I generate a random DNA sequence?

I've found this paper which involves the construction of 19-bp random DNA sequences, but I don't know enough biology to understand how this method works. Could someone explain it to someone who is ...
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How do nuclear receptors locate each other to form a DNA loop?

Nuclear receptors can influence transcription far up- or downstream from their own binding sites by looping DNA (Rubina et al.; J Mol Bio 2004). I am not sure how exactly the receptors first attach ...
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What determines the number of chromosomes an organism carries?

This is an extension of this question about What limits chromosomal length?. I am wondering what could be the specific reasons behind the number of chromosomes an organism carries. In other words, ...
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Difference in length of Okazaki fragments

The length of Okazaki fragments in the lagging strand is about 100-200 nucleotides in eukaryotes and about 1000-2000 nucleotides in prokaryotes. What (molecular mechanism, enzyme type ) ...
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How long is DNA stable in a freezer?

Inspired by the post about extracting pet DNA, how long would genomic DNA be stable for in a -20°C freezer? It is common practice to store DNA (double-stranded, plasmid) in a -20°C freezer in ...
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Double stranded nucleic acids are more 'durable' than single stranded nucleic acids?

I'm struggling with a question I've been asked. "Why is double stranded genetic material more 'durable' than single stranded one?" I know that double stranded genetic material is more stable due to ...
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is it possible to completely reconstruct a family tree by DNA comparison alone?

Having DNA samples of all or almost all members of a population of, say, a few hundred or thousand individuals, is it possible to draw the entire family tree of those individuals? (Let's not assume ...
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DNA-DNA cross-linking with formaldehyde?

The 3C (chromosome conformation capture) technology for studying chromatin 3D organization starts by a cross-linking step using formaldehyde to find segments of DNA interacting. In my understanding ...
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How many transcription factors are there?

In molecular biology and genetics, a transcription factor is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, thereby controlling the flow (or transcription) of genetic information from DNA to ...
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How much DNA of mitochondrial origin is incorporated in main cell's DNA?

And especially three points : in which chromosomes is it located (especially for the human case) ? how do we know about it ? does the proportion and composition vary a lot from one eukaryot to ...
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Are there any DNA base sequences that are fully conserved between the genomes of all humans?

That is, they don't differ throughout the entire population. I understand of course that we can't DNA sequence every human, so by "fully" I mean there's an incredibly small probability of there being ...