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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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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71 views

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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685 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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185 views

What is the DNA/protein charge ratio?

To study DNA-protein interaction, I want to do a DNA retardation test by mixing the protein with DNA and afterwarts loading it on an agarose gel to see if the DNA migrates slower. I've found some ...
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143 views

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 ...
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489 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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123 views

How distantly related are eusocial insects? Aren't members of a species much more related than 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How many genes do we share with our mother? I went to a lecture that talked about the behavior of social insects in terms of their relatedness of genes. For instance, ...
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344 views

How can I predict DNA binding affinities from a protein sequence?

Are there any computational tools to predict the binding affinity to specific DNA motifs from protein domain sequence information?
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432 views

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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96 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 ...
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174 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 ...
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220 views

What is the contribution of viruses to the evolution of mankind?

I'm interested in horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, viruses, and organisms such as Bdelloid Rotifers. I've just read in Carl Zimmer's 'A Planet of Viruses' the following passage: As a host ...
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112 views

What risk to DNA does long-term exposure to low-dose radiation pose?

A new study from MIT scientists suggests that long-term exposure to low-radiation poses no risk of DNA damage for mice (it is also important to note that mice are unusually susceptible to cancer). So ...
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647 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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128 views

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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2k views

How to DIY preserve pet DNA today so that it can be used in 20 years

I know that there are companies that offer a kit+storage of your pet DNA for around $2k. My question is if there is any other option for doing this yourself with a thought in mind that in 20+ years ...
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82 views

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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234 views

DNA chip contains a complete set of random hexanucleotide (6-mers) probes? (Solve) [closed]

can you tell me how to find solution to this question A DNA chip contains a complete set of random hexanucleotide (6-mers) probes. Out of the 4^6 = 4096 probes, how many will form perfect ...
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212 views

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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309 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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3answers
9k views

How many agarose gel bands are typical for circularised DNA

I am aware that circular DNA can be both relaxed and super coiled. However when running an agarose gel of the circular plasmid along with singly digested plasmid with BamHI and HindIII, I see 1 band ...
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89 views

Generating custom human DNA sequences based on traits such as eye colour?

I'm wondering if it would be possible to create software (unless some already exists, but I couldn't find any) to generate human DNA (the base pairs on the double helix) containing genes representing ...
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93 views

Consensus codon optimization by organism

Does a public database exist that contains this information? I'm trying to make a simple gene annotation program that will let me input a DNA sequence and then optimize it based on one of these tables ...
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390 views

Source of DNA sequences

I'm working on a project where I am taking DNA sequences and translating the codons into musical notes. I have some good ideas of how to do this, I'm just not sure what sequences to work with. My case ...
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3answers
353 views

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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What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?

I've thoroughly read the Wikipedia article on DNA sequencing and can't get one thing. There's some hardcore chemistry involved in the process that somehow splits the DNA and then isolates its parts. ...
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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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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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193 views

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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2answers
93 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 ...
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581 views

Why is the 3'UTR region highly methylated in most of the human genes?

Most of the human genes are found to be highly methylated in their 3'UTR region (0.8-0.9%). I was wondering if there is any specific reason for this?
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988 views

Basic Amino Acid Residue Binding Mechanism to DNA

I understand that many protein DNA binding domains bind to DNA via basic residues such as Arginine and Lysine. But what is the mechanism used to bind to DNA and where on the DNA would these residues ...
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326 views

What is Curved DNA?

CbpA is DNA binding protein found in E. coli and binds non-specifically to curved DNA (Cosgriff et al., 2010), when the bacterium is in a static phase of growth. The use of "curved DNA" confuses me. ...
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Which organism has the smallest genome length?

Which animal/plant/anything has smallest length genome?
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122 views

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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237 views

Can methylation from DNA get copied to RNA during transcription?

Methylation on gene-body and 3'UTRs if copied to mRNA can potentially regulate post-transcription modifications or expression regulation. But I'm not sure if they are maintained after transcription or ...
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265 views

What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?

Well, the question is in the title, no explanation need.
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181 views

Can DNA produce ribozyme-like structures?

RNA is known to act as an enzyme via its ability to fold itself in specific ways. Is DNA capable of such structures? Or is it some biochemical reason stopping the folding? Have they been observed in ...
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836 views

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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2answers
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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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Are human chromosomes connected or separate molecules?

Do the 46 human chromosomes form a single unbroken DNA helix? Or is it rather that a human's genome consists of 46 disconnected helices? If it is the former, does the common numbering scheme for ...
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Why do we add salt when precipitating DNA?

All the DNA extraction protocols I have seen involve adding salts to the extraction buffer. What is the purpose of the salts? What happens if they aren't included?
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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 ...
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6k views

Does an annealing temp higher than primer's Tm contribute to primer dimer?

I am attempting to reproduce results from a number of journal articles all referring to the same SNP. In doing this I'm using the same primer set outlined in the articles. When I attempted a run the ...
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356 views

What are the limitations to current nucleotide sequencing technologies?

Using the Illumina platform, it is cheap and (relatively) easy to sequence huge amounts of DNA or RNA. There are various other platforms out there (Roche/454, SOLiD, PacBio, Ion Torrent) each with ...
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246 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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447 views

Do mitochondria simply automatically convert glucose to ATP?

I wonder whether there is any intelligent decision-making in mitochondria in the timing of their operation. Do they simply begin ATP production as soon as the correct reactants are present? Or, ...
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1answer
196 views

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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195 views

What is the prehistory of amino acids in cells?

As a followup to Why 20 amino acids instead of 64? and What is the smallest number of amino acids required for life?, I am trying to understand the prehistory of amino acids in cells. All living ...
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Are there viruses that affect many kinds of cells across species?

I'm not a professional in biology nor a student, but I'm curious about this. To be more specific: why doesn't a plant virus affect animal cells? I suspect that different kinds of cells have different ...