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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When can a virus modify DNA in every cell of a living organism?

I've recently heard about experiments with brain tissue, where a virus is introduced in a rats brain, causing a "glow when electric charge is present" protein to be created. This protein then helps to ...
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Self pairing in DNA

I know that ssRNA molecule can fold over itself (e.g. in t-RNA). Can DNA do the same? Is there any example of this in nature? Why is this phenomenon more common in RNA than in DNA?
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What is the mechanism of labeling a DNA molecule with deuterated water?

I have seen a paper in which deuterated water was used to follow dividing cells. The assumption was that deuterated water will be incorporated into newly synthesized DNA molecules. Is there any direct ...
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Why can't we observe haplotypes directly?

I am completely a noob to biology and DNAs, but recently I am looking into EM-algorithm used in the case of re-constructing haplotypes from genotype data. I am just wondering what exactly in the ...
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Do apes and humans share 99% of DNA or 99% of genes? What is the difference?

I made an answer on the Scifi.SE that can be read here. It is about how the characters in the story Jurassic Park might have gotten DNA for all the species shown. In my answer, I said this: Apes ...
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How does the DNA know which chain has error in repairing?

As we know, the DNA has more stability than RNA, if one chain has broken or accidentally distorted, it can be repaired by the other one. Suppose there is a segment AGTC, its peer is GACT. Now its ...
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DNA Replication

I just wanted to understand the basic steps behind the replication of the lagging strand of DNA: Have helicase unwind it first DNA Primase lays down RNA primers in fragments, called Okazaki ...
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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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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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DIY extraction and long term storage of human DNA sample?

What is the recommended DIY way of extracting and long term storing of human DNA samples to store at home and send for sequencing in years time? Considerations: Sample material: cheek swab, hair, ...
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Can a dNTP be built into a RNA strand?

DNA consists of deoxyribonucleotides, RNA consists of ribonucleotides. They differ mainly (apart from the uracil / thymine difference) in the sugar part, the deoxyribose and the ribose. Those two ...
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Is there any other function of DNA?

We all know that DNA acts as a genetic molecule. Does DNA have any other function in the cell other than being a genetic material and carrier of information?
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Are there beneficial genetic mutations identified by consumer DNA genotyping?

I'm looking at services like 23andme, and see that they identify a wide variety of genetic-based risks, like predisposition to diseases, hair loss, cancer, etc. Are there a more "positive" DNA ...
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292 views

Transcription factor binding site located in intron

I have noticed that some TF binding sites are located in the introns of the genes. I am puzzled about whether the TF only binds to DNA in the initiation stage of transcription and will detach during ...
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123 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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119 views

Prenatal Marketing

This is for a short story idea. Is it possible to modify the DNA of a child to make their metabolism more susceptible (physical response, addiction, etc) to a certain type of chemical i.e. a chemical ...
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Superposing DNA

I have a series of protein models with DNA docked. I now want to superpose the DNA on a reference DNA molecule and extract the translational distance applied and the rotation angle used. I can ...
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703 views

What is the purpose of Y-shaped adapters in Illumina sequencing?

Y adapters different sequences to be annealed to the 5' and 3' ends of each molecule in a library. The arms of the Y are unique, and the middle part, connected to the DNA fragment, is complementary. ...
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DNA replication Okazaki fragments

I understand multiple origin bubbles; DNA polymerase only synthesizes DNA from 5' to 3' and all that. But what I don't understand is why it has to be in fragments. Yes, DNA is anti parallel, and so ...
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can the face of a person be accurately predicted from DNA information?

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 ...
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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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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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Separating DNA Fragments by Gel Electrophoresis. Are all the strands for one size the same?

My apologies if my question is too basic, and please point me to a more appropriate forum. I am reading the textbook "Essential Cell Biology" by Alberts et al, and am consulting other sources as ...
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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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Is episome a plasmid or a virus?

A plasmid is a small DNA molecule that is physically separate from, and can replicate independently of, chromosomal DNA within a cell. In general, in eukaryotes, episomes are closed circular DNA ...
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Expanding the SETI initiative to seek intelligent data within DNA sequences?

I've recently read a couple articles dealing with long term data storage, and DNA was suggested as one of the prime candidates for long term storage of digital data additionally, there is this article ...
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Complexity in creating transgenic animals (e.g., mice)

Many papers I have seen describing transgenic rodent models (and presumably applicable to other model organisms) involve the knock-in, or modification to, a single gene, possibly two genes. With ...
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Is there a way to measure the amount of bytes that are possible to encode in a DNA molecule?

When I saw a DNA molecule for the first time, it kinda reminded me of a hard drive. It consists of slots and there are some possible combinations for each slot; in the hard drive these possible ...
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Do individual (free) nucleotides base-pair with other free nucleotides?

I had a student ask me about this and my google-fu let me down. He asked if individual nucleotides (not in a nucleic acid) base-pair with their complementary nucleotides, essentially forming many ...
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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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How much can be said about behaviour (future) based on bloodgroup?

My bloodgroup for example is A+. How much information is knowing my bloodgroup? How much information can be known from a blood sample? I expect you to be able to clone if known a complete DNA sequence ...
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78 views

Can IVF decrease the probability of trisomy in the fetuses of older mothers?

Is trisomy mostly due to complications with fertilization? If so, does in vitro fertilization reduce the probability of trisomy for the fetuses of older mothers? If not, can zygotes be screened ...
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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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How does a thymidine block halt DNA synthesis?

The best I've been able to find is that there's a feedback mechanism, but what is this feedback, and how does the mechanism work? If it's just that the concentration of thymidine is too high, why ...
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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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370 views

Why re-label the strand ends in 3' DNA labelling?

I have a problem with a molecular biology question; I don’t understand how DNA 3’ labelling works. I took a diagram from my lesson and tried to understand with it; this is what I understood. If I’m ...
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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 ...
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348 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 ...
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Studying changes in DNA for causes of cancer

First of all let me say that I'm not into Biology myself... but I have a question for those of you who are. From what I've read, cancer is caused by 'faulty' DNA that behaves abnormally. Mutations ...
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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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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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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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430 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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Papers linking telomeres and aging [closed]

I'm currently writing a piece of work about telomeres and aging, and wondered if you could share some good papers you've either read or know of.
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Simulating Cell differentiation

I'm a computer programmer deeply interested in Biology. I wish to write a computer simulation for cell differentiation. I understand there will be seemingly impossible challenges in doing this. But ...
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How do multiple replication forks function without 'colliding', and what is the benefit of this method?

I'm currently reading a little about DNA replication, and have come accross the following statement; Replication starts from a fixed point and is bi-directional ... In Eukaryotes, there are ...
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250 views

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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515 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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48 views

mutant down but not out

I am interested in a gene which is null lethal but I need to temporary induce diminished capacity. If a cell is homozygous is it possible to induce heterozygous phenotypes or a partial knockout from ...
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How are atoms in benzopyridines and benzopurines numbered?

I am well-aware of the numbering system used for the traditional bases, as seen below. My question is how are the atoms in the size-expanded bases seen in xDNA and xRNA numbered?