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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Basic text/notes on DNA structure (for non-biologists)

I am a mathematics grad student researching knot theory, and I've recently discovered that there is a connection between knot theory and DNA structure (if I understand correctly, when DNA strands ...
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1answer
927 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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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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208 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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1answer
290 views

Why are urban birds still scared of humans?

I understand that animals are naturally scared of humans because we basically slaughtered every living thing we found in our way for millennia. How long does it take for them to genetically 'forget' ...
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97 views

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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111 views

Do spouses begin to share genes over time?

I apologize if this hypothesis sounds strange by I was wondering if any research had been done on a phenomenon which I've seen and have corroborated with many other - the idea that over time spouses ...
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1answer
746 views

What happens when cells in your body run out of telomeres?

In my biology book I read about an experiment where the genes encoding telomerase were 'knocked out', but they could still live a normal life and no adverse effects were noticed until the 6th ...
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64 views

How do I figure out which of the valleys I came from?

I had my DNA tested by 23andme.com. They give me a very long string for my DNA. How do I determine which of the three Ethiopian valleys I descended from? I'm of European descent. ...
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1answer
59 views

How correlated are proximally related CpG sites in human DNA?

Cytosine residues in DNA that can be methylated (i.e. CpG sites) are likely to be in the same methylation state if they are geographically (proximally) close together. I can only find one paper that ...
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1answer
76 views

Complementarity of cDNA

Strictly speaking, what is the definition of cDNA? This confuses me, since usually it is said to refer to DNA that is complementary to mRNA. Is this correct? Is it restricted to mature mRNA? I ...
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2answers
669 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 ...
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1answer
234 views

Can replication occur if DNA is methylated?

Can a methylated strand of DNA be replicated without removing methylation? Does it make any difference if the strand is methylated or not (during replication)?
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Can retroviral delivery systems “overwrite” genes?

As the question states, what are the limits of retroviral genetic delivery systems? Are they limited to adding additional gene sequences to a cell, or can they actually overwrite specified segments ...
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1answer
604 views

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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3answers
392 views

Is there variation of AT/CG ratio along species?

Chargaff's rules say that the number of Adenine of the number of Thymine in a genome are equal (nA=nT) and similarly nC=nG. This makes obvious sense knowing that C binds to G and A to T. But what ...
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1answer
188 views

How to deduce if RNA virus infection or DNA virus infection

Is there any general rule to say this must be RNA virus infection and the other one DNA virus infection? Example of a case: 5 children develop a bright red rash on the face and turns violet after a ...
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1answer
126 views

Suggestions for an experiment? [closed]

I would appreciate suggestions for my year-long AP Biology project. Such a project would consists of a standard experiment, to be done over the period of a year, so it would have >to be fairly ...
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1answer
935 views

What is DNA binding domain? It is not clear what the domain means

I am confused about the term DNA binding domain. Does it mean that there are some parts of the DNA that tends to coil up? Does it happen because some proteins tend to stick around that area? Also it ...
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4answers
3k views

Life without DNA?

I'm by no means an expert in the field, merely a curious visitor, but I've been thinking about this and Google isn't of much help. Do we know of any lifeforms that don't have the conventional ...
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4answers
160 views

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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88 views

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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1answer
52 views

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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2answers
249 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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2answers
122 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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2answers
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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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1answer
116 views

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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307 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 ...
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1answer
154 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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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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2answers
212 views

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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520 views

Why did high A+T content create problems for the Plasmodium falciparum genome project?

The main paper for the Plasmodium palciparum genome project (Gardner et al., 2002) repeatedly mentioned that the unusually high A+T content (~80%) of the genome caused problems. For example they imply ...
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1answer
84 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 ...
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60 views

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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2answers
369 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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1answer
134 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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294 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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Why do eukaryotic organisms have introns in their DNA?

We touched on introns and exons in my bio class, but unfortunately we didn't really talk about why Eukaryotes have introns. It would seem they would have to have some purpose since prokaryotes do not ...
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290 views

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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1answer
97 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?
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1answer
129 views

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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1answer
128 views

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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What is the advantage of circular DNA in bacteria?

From what I understand, bacteria have circular DNA. What advantages does it have over linear strands like for eukaryotes? Do there exist bacteria with more than one ring of DNA?
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1answer
2k views

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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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 ...
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1answer
111 views

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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1answer
46 views

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 ...