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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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 ...
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48 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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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110 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 ...
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183 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? ...
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142 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, ...
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290 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 ...
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914 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 ...
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260 views

Why deoxyribose for DNA and ribose for RNA?

Why is DNA made out of deoxyribose and RNA made of ribose? Why can't they both use ribose or deoxyribose? I think that the deoxyribose gives an advantage in storing genes, the job of DNA and ribose is ...
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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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214 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 ...
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272 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 ...
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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 ...
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339 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 ...
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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 ...
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488 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 ...
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751 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 ...
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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 ...
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219 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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659 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?
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ($\ce{3'-PO4^{-}-5'}$). ...
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Does the genetic material the sperm carries affect it's physical properties

Basically, what I'm asking is, is the actual sperm cell built from the blueprint in the DNA of the man or is it itself also a consequence of the DNA it carries? I'd like to know a few more things ...
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207 views

What is the minimum length required for a circular DNA ligation?

What is the minimum length of a DNA molecule for the ends to come in close enough contact that they can ligate. Assume there are free divalent cations in solution. Does anyone have any idea?
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How do mutations come to be shared by all cells?

It's my understanding that various hazards can damage the DNA in our cells, causing mutations. But whenever I picture this, I see the damage being done to one of our tissues (for example, our lungs ...
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275 views

Which organisms have introns?

From Wikipedia: For example, introns are extremely common within the nuclear genome of higher vertebrates (e.g. humans and mice), where protein-coding genes almost always contain multiple introns, ...
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144 views

How does “inheritance of methylation” of DNA and/or histones work?

What are the current models/ideas describing the mechanisms explaining inheritance of methylation on DNA resp. histone level? Is there evidance of this "setup" information being really ...
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406 views

Finding exons in DNA problem

My attempt: I looked for the TACs because I thought this would be AUG in mRNA and ultimately Methionine (the start codon). But apparently, that's not how you do this problem. Im confused because ...
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137 views

DNA content in plant seeds vs. fruit flesh

Is there a publication comparing DNA yield and/or PCR-amplifiability after extraction from fruit flesh (like apples, oranges, cherries etc) in comparison to seeds of the same fruits? I would prefer a ...
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364 views

Effect of single nucleotide deletion or insertion on primer annealing

How is primer annealing, and, consequently, PCR amplification affected by single nucleotide deletion or insertion inside the primer ? Imagine a primer like this: GCGTCATAAAGGGGACGTG (primer) and ...
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Redundancy of the genetic code

One particular codon codes only for one amino acid, but an amino acid can be coded for by several different codons. Now according to the genetic code, the codon UUU ...
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relative-rate of evolution

I am supposed to calculate the relative rate of evolution of two sequences (human and sheep) with a chicken serving as the outgroup. The sequences are pretty long, so I will just create a short ...
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Reference sequence for defining single nucleotide polymorphisms

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or genetic variation in general, by definition are relative to a reference sequence. When we talk about databases of SNP as in ("dbSNP—Database for Single ...
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Microarray data and analysis tools

Microarray has various uses, and to analyse the data a main function classification is used. There are many methods used to classify the data but what are the best and most frequently used methods? ...
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Telomerase in tetrahymena

In this amazing video, at 26:03 we see this image We now know that the telomerase contains a sequence complementary to the telomere sequence and so is able to do what it is capable of doing in this ...
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307 views

How much does the Hayflick limit/telomere length vary across taxa and within humans?

Since they seem to be quite connected, I'm curious if anyone knows of research comparing the Hayflick limit (and presumably by extension telomere length) between different taxa. I've heard the ...
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466 views

Why Only DNA can Contain Hereditary Material?

Well I'm well aware that it is proven that DNA contains genetic material via transformation and Hershey-Chase Experiment of T2 bacteriophage. Still I was wondering what is the reason only DNA ...
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What triggers DNA to produce proteins?

What is the trigger for DNA to produce proteins or RNA? I have found enough material to study the inner workings of the cell and DNA; but, I can't find an explanation of the mechanics the cell uses ...
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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? ...
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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.
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834 views

Difference between mice and rats

What is the actual biological difference between mice and rats? Are they actually the same thing with two different names depending on appearance (are they all mice for instance and we call the larger ...
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High sequence similarity but start codon isn't methionine

I have noticed in a particular genome sequence of a prokaryote that various regions in a sequence share similarity which is high(>80%) with known proteins. However, the start is not a methionine. Is ...
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More entropy: Atom or Macromolecule? [closed]

A question that appeared on my last exam was : Which of the following has greater entropy A) An atom B) A macromolecule The question doesn't specify anything else(i.e. type/size of atom or ...