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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
2answers
305 views

What is a good Non Fluorescent DNA Dye?

Can anyone suggest a dye which specifically targets DNA, but is not fluorescent? (We plan to mark DNA before observing it with RAMAN-Spectroscopy. Because of the weak Signal even a low emission would ...
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Is telomere shortening consistant over consecutive cell divisions from zygote to a differentiated cell?

Considering the complexity of embryogenesis, a temporal referance would be helpful to coordinate the developmental sequences during embryogenesis and fetal development which is to be completed within ...
6
votes
3answers
431 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
523 views

How does Topoisomerase II inhibition affect cancer cells?

Topoisomerase II poisons represent some of the most important and widely prescribed anticancer drugs currently in clinical use. These drugs encompass a diverse group of natural and synthetic ...
6
votes
2answers
873 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
67 views

“Enhancers” of enhancers?

I am looking for examples (if any) of genomic regions which regulates the activity of enhancers, either augmenting or reducing it. Essentially some kind of enhancers (or repressors) of enhancers to ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

What is the oldest example of DNA identified?

What is the oldest sample of genetic material (presumably DNA) identified? What are the prospects of pushing back much further into the geologic record?
6
votes
1answer
71 views

(Rough) Model for DNA evolution in E. coli genes

I need a model of in-gene DNA drift. I'm not interested in bacterial phylogenies alone. Here is what I understand: Sequences corresponding to genes have both exons and introns, but in bacteria the ...
6
votes
1answer
92 views

DNA modifications other than 5-mC/5-hmC/5-fC/5-caC in vertebrate genomes?

Other than 5-Methylcytosine and the more recently discovered 5-Hydroxymethyl, 5-formil and 5-carboxylcytosine DNA modifications found in DNA sequences, what are other DNA modifications present in ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

Do somatic cells alter their own nucleotide sequence?

I seem to remember reading that embryonic cells will frequently replicate the section of their genome containing rDNA by splicing in duplicate genes. The cells use this to produce ribosomes at a rate ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do we know that everybody's DNA fingerprint is unique?

How do we know that everybody's DNA fingerprint is unique? I know, I know, everybody's DNA is unique. But when we do DNA fingerprinting, we're looking at very specific regions of high variability. ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

Are there other mechanisms for mutation besides imperfect DNA replication?

I was reading http://www.askamathematician.com/2012/05/q-is-quantum-randomness-ever-large-enough-to-be-noticed/ and saw: [...] the evolution of entire species can be changed by a single mistake ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Do changes in an organism's cell modify the genetic information it uses for reproduction?

What I'm actually interested about is whether a modification in one cell during the life of an asexually reproducing organism affects its genetic information? Which cell's genetic information is used ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

Why does high pH result in the denaturation of DNA?

In the Southern blot method, for example, a solution of NaOH is used to denature the DNA in the sample. I find this counterintuitive since I expected that $\text{Na}^+$ cations would neutralize the ...
5
votes
3answers
193 views

How easy is it to carry out de novo sequence assembly?

Today a colleague of mine asked the following question: " Assuming I need to build from 0, a chromosome of a fish, with short reads but no other reference whatsoever [de novo assembly]: ...
5
votes
3answers
193 views

What are the limitations of commercial-grade DNA genotyping compared to full sequencing?

I've heard about services like 23andme, which offer genetic testing to the general public. As a person who knows very little about genetics, I'm interested in the subject and would like to know what ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

During the process of correcting mutations via gene therapy, is the defective gene removed?

Just recently started learning about gene therapy, many websites explain that the corrected DNA can be added to the genome using a vector and all that. I just don't understand what happens to the ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Plasmid in the nucleus and gene expression

If we insert a plasmid into a human nucleus that contains exact copy of gene and all relevant promoters to produce some human protein, will the cell create functional protein from that plasmid only ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views
5
votes
2answers
95 views

Synthetic biology using existing cells

I was watching the video at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17436365 The speaker says that a cell is taken and its original DNA content is stripped out and replaced with ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Repair wrong DNA pair after ending replication?

If there are wrong DNA pair, for example A=G, is there mechanism that could repair such things - after the replication was finished? Or it happens only during replication?
5
votes
2answers
116 views

There are linear and rotary molecular motors in the cells. Do any of them have a fixed or stable frequency or speed?

Are there any linear, rotary or oscillatory molecular motors in the cells which can have fixed frequeny and which can be used as a reference for elapsed time timer? This question is with relevence to ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Do thymine and uracil ever appear in the same strand of RNA?

Wikipedia says that "in RNA, thymine is replaced with uracil in most cases." I'm curious what are the cases when this does not happen? Does this ever occur in normal functioning, or is it an error? ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Is there a DNA test to identify dog mixes?

We adopted a dog at the age of two. Our vet said it was a mix of an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, which we've told everyone. Based on markings, I think it's likely. I am wondering, however, ...
5
votes
2answers
337 views

How to find Exons in mRNA Computationally

I'm having trouble finding a method to find exons in the original DNA sequence used to create the mRNA, even given the sequence of the mRNA, as I cannot find a way to reliably identify the beginning ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the fiber axis in the Watson and Crick paper?

I was reading Watson and Crick's article on DNA structure, and the diagram on the lower left of the first page had something called the fiber axis going through the DNA. This axis isn't in modern ...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

How are DNA polymerase error rates measured?

It is well known that the first DNA polymerase, Taq, is quite error prone. Newer generation commercial enzymes that have either been isolated from different thermophile species or have been improved ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

What is the benefit for cells having the ATP production regulated in mitochondria compared to being from the nucleus?

Mitochondria have their own DNA and appear to be loosely connected to the nucleus and it role. Why are the functions of mitochondria not in the nucleus? Why doesn't the nucleus control the ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

enzymes that stabilize DNA loops

As a follow-up of a previous question, I would like to know what enzymes or protein complexes have been used to manipulate DNA samples into stabilizing DNA loops. I have read that cohesin is one of ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Mitotic crossover happens in G1?

I was reading this article in wikipedia and came across this : It has been suggested that recombination takes place during G1, when the DNA is in its 2-strand phase, and replicated during DNA ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

Tool for nucleotide alignment with all nucleotide codes (e.g. R, Y, W, S, etc.)?

I have a vector sequence and would like to find the following nucleotide sequence in it. AASYWSRA This query sequence uses several degenerate symbols, defined ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How does formaldehyde cause protein-DNA crosslinking?

How does formaldehyde cause protein-DNA crosslinking? I would guess it's because the strongly polar water molecule interacts strongly with polar residues on a protein-DNA complex, and adding a less ...
5
votes
1answer
528 views

Primer Dimer / Hairpin Algorithms

What are the algorithms / methods in use for the calculation of primer dimers and hairpins? As an example, IDT's OligoAnalyzer tool will generate these analysis given particular sequences. The ...
5
votes
0answers
69 views

Does crude oil or kerogen contain ancient DNA?

According to wikipedia by the formation of oil there are a lot of organic materials present including DNA. Is it possible that this DNA is conserved somehow for millions of years?
4
votes
2answers
768 views

If DNA has a half life of about 500 years, how can old seeds be planted?

According to this article, DNA has a half life of 512 years Wikipedia claims that there are seeds planted as old as 31000 years Doing the basic math $100 / (2^{30000/512})$ we get that only about ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and Apes have 24 pairs (twenty-four pairs), for a total of 48. What caused humans to have 46? ...
4
votes
4answers
291 views

Biodiversity is restricted by genome combinatorics?

Me and some friends are interested in opinions for the following: Conjecture The maximum number of species must be limited by the maximum combinatorial/permutational space that can be occupied ...
4
votes
2answers
259 views

What makes DNA helical?

Why isn't DNA like RNA; why isn't RNA like DNA, that is, helical? Why are RNA chains straight?
4
votes
3answers
188 views

Why do we need deep sequencing?

Why do we need deep sequencing? Why cannot the sequencing technologies read all the nucleotides correctly at the first read? Sorry since this question is too trivial, I don't have a biological ...
4
votes
2answers
43k views

What does 5' and 3' mean in DNA and RNA strands?

What are 5' and 3' in DNA and RNA strands? Please clarify with some images and please use simple English.
4
votes
2answers
52 views

where to find the relative frequency distribution of synonymous codons

Most amino acids can be encoded by more than one codon. For example, Serine can be encoded by any one of ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

can the face of a person be accurately predicted from DNA information? [duplicate]

3/05/creepy-or-cool-portraits-derived-from-the-dna-in-hair-and-gum-found-in-public-places/?utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=20130503&utm_content=collageartdna ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Importance of Double Helix DNA Structure

Gene expression involves transcribing only one strand of DNA molecule. So i was wondering what are some biological advantages of the double stranded DNA?
4
votes
2answers
140 views

DNA of the human body?

If our DNA determines certain patterns within the human body such as hair color and eye color, if scientists were able to "turn off" such as the gene for eye color after the pattern was established, ...
4
votes
4answers
299 views

Is there a PSI-BLAST for nucleotide sequences?

I understand that one can translate a nucleotide sequence and run PSI-BLAST on the protein (proteins if you take the 6 reading frames), but I'm looking for distant homology for bacterial small RNAs ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Is solving cancer required in order to avoid aging?

When the telomerase enzyme is not active the telomere shortens every time the cell duplicates leading to a reproductive limit (Hayflicks limit). On one hand this is a believed reason for aging. On the ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

DNA as an acid? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do? Even if DNA is made up of nucleotide bases, it is said to be an acid. Why is this?
4
votes
1answer
215 views

Stability of helical strands of DNA?

The DNA molecules contain phosphate groups involved in $3'\rightarrow 5'$phosphodiester linkages. These groups, in the bonded state with deoxyribose, contain 1 negative charges ($\ce{3'-PO4^{-}-5'}$). ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Is there a DNA analogue to ribozymes? [duplicate]

If not, is it impossible for DNA to have enzymatic activity?
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Why AZT is selective towards HIV and doesn't impair human DNA replication?

I've found this article, which is a very old one (from the time when nucleoside analogs where researched as a possible way to prevent replication of virus genetic material, before the HIV epidemics). ...