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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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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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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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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113 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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47 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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82 views

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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85 views

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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130 views

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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124 views

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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81 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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679 views

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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3k views

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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187 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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3answers
175 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 ...
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433 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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42 views

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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81 views

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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3answers
10k 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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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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322 views

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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274 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 ...
12
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1answer
290 views

Can DNA act as a translation substrate?

I get conflicting answers. One would think if it was true, it would be rather seminal and widely known. There are papers from Khorana[1], Holland[2], and Bretscher[3] (late 60s) that suggest that it ...
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727 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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1answer
66 views

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?
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127 views

How realistic is to use DNA for long term storage?

This is mainly a followup question to the recent paper Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA. Personally, while I agree about the data density of the format, I can't help point out 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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Does DNA react in all of the ways most other acids do?

As I understand it from my basic chemistry, there are some fundamental reactions that exist between any acid and other substances for example acid-base reactions that form a salt, and the existence of ...
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2answers
300 views

Translate DNA to Protein

Assuming the sequence shown is read left to right, what is the sequence of the protein produced? sequence: 5’-ATGTACTTCCATCTGGAATAG-3’ MY ATTEMPT: I know RNA is synthesized 5 to 3. This is ...
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490 views

What distinguishes “coding” and “noncoding” DNA from each other?

I've been reading a bit about "junk DNA" and how much of our genome consists of this "non coding DNA" in comparison to "coding DNA". I'm just an interested layperson but I thought all combinations of ...
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Why do DNA and RNA have the functions they have?

I know that there are two most important directions of genetic information transfer in living organisms: DNA->DNA and DNA->RNA. The first is replication, and the second is transcription. I wonder if ...
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How do CpG islands remain unmethylated?

In most of the genome CpG sites are pretty much always methylated, but CpG islands are instead often unmethylated. This has been linked to the fact that they often are associated to transcripted ...
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209 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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How to learn DNA Origami

Can you tell me is there any good softwares and tutorials which can be used to learn DNA Origami. I am new to this and want to learn from basics. Advance thanks for your help edited: INSILICO
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What would need to be discovered to prove there is extraterrestrial life?

Curiosity is on the Martian surface and is equipped with a slew of laboratory equipment. What would Curiosity need to discover to prove there is or has been life on Mars? Would it have to find DNA (or ...
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Does every mitochondrion in a cell contain the same DNA?

I know that mitochondria of eukaryotes have their own DNA, more similar to that of bacteria than to the rest of the cell's DNA. I also know that a cell can have plenty of mitochondria, and I ...
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69 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 ...
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72 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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446 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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3answers
421 views

Is telomere length a reliable measure of health/lifespan?

Several companies are commercializing tests for telomere length such as this one here. I understand the basic mechanism for why telomeres shorten during DNA replication, but how good is the evidence ...
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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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197 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 ...
6
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1answer
151 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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2answers
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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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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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374 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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226 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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97 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 ...