The scientific study of the structure and function of genes at the molecular level, particularly chromosomes and DNA.

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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 ...
19
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1answer
398 views

Regulation of chromatin structure

Recently, I reviewed the different levels of chromatin structure. The primary level is nucleosomes, where DNA is bound to histones, and has structural similarity to "beads on a string." The secondary ...
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226 views

What is the reason behind choosing the reporter gene when experimenting on your gene of interest?

I noticed within example experiments in class that different reporter genes are chosen to be inserted near your gene of interest to prove whether or not the gene is being expressed. For example, you ...
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0answers
170 views

paralogue genes in genome-wide association studies?

Has anybody tested if paralogous genes are over-represented among the genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS)? For example, if a GWAS study finds 200 genes associated to the ...
12
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1answer
262 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 ...
11
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1answer
264 views

Do single crossovers occur in circular polynucleotides?

Single crossovers in circular pieces of DNA do not seem to be a big topic, because if they happened, they would lead to a kind of combined chromosome with two inner strands and one large outer strand. ...
10
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2answers
336 views

What is the highest competency possible for E coli?

I am looking to find a highly competent E coli strain. I am making a library of a ~6.6kb plasmid and I am not getting high enough efficiency. Does anyone have a suggestion of a strain/protocol with ...
10
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1answer
2k views

How does the stem-loop cause intrinsic transcription termination?

In this animation, towards the end (about three quarters) the process of transcription termination is shown. It states that the transcribed RNA forms a hairpin loop (or stem-loop), which halts the ...
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1answer
348 views

What is the functional and structural distinction between core (H2A, H2B, H3,H4) and linker(H1/H5) histones?

Many explanations of histone biochemistry isn't quite elucidating for the undergraduate student. How does histone structure (dimers, octomers) relate to their specific functions as core or linker ...
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352 views

How does the genetic code evolve?

After looking at this question, some other questions poped in my mind. The DNA code is redundant, there are 20 amino acids for 64 possible nucleotide combinations. Therefore some amino acid are coded ...
8
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2answers
178 views

Is there a dominant gene for right-handedness?

Has there been any definitive research about handedness being genetic? Also, why is right-handedness clearly dominant in humans? I'm interested in evolutionary theories, as well as any molecular ...
7
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1answer
793 views

How to clone and sequence a gene transcript of unknown sequence?

How might I go about amplifying a gene transcript (mRNA) from animal tissue of which little is known about the genome? In some applications, I have used reverse transcriptase PCR to amplify all mRNA ...
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391 views

What exactly happens if during translation, an amino acid is not present?

Lets say that the cell wants to make a particular protein. Transcription of the appropriate gene is done and the mRNA is made. mRNA attaches to the ribosome and the translation is initiated in a ...
7
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1answer
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 ...
7
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1answer
62 views

Which factors besides the thermodynamic stability are important for the hairpin in intrinsic transcription termination?

Intrinsic termination (rho-independent) relies on a stable hairpin with a subsequent uridine repeat. The common explanation on how these sequences cause the termination of the transcription are based ...
7
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1answer
372 views

How is the exogenous DNA protected from degradation during bacterial transformation?

During transformation, a bacterium can take up DNA from its environment. A small fraction of bacterial species are known to be naturally competent, meaning that they can engage in this sort of ...
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4answers
1k views

What's the aim of genetically modifying of foods/organisms?

On news, articles etc. experts talking about Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms often mentions about their disadvantages like, their potential to harm human health allergies may become more ...
6
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1answer
160 views

what is the difference between “cistron” and “gene”

I'm asking after reading the cognate wikipedia.en article on "cistron". I still am not sure about the difference of the two terms. To me it seems valid to picture a "cistron" as the genome wide set ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Gene & Protein nomenclature: N-Myc, c-Myc, et. al

Can someone explain (or point me to an explanation of) exactly what is meant by all the different symbols I see used for writing genes and proteins? I think I know that for genes, we use an italic ...
6
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2answers
550 views

Methods of nuclear transfection - nuclear transport

I am reading through the ENCODE papers, which is taking me well out of my comfort zone in terms of modern laboratory techniques. At the risk of asking a question which may well be thoroughly answered ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
195 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 ...
6
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2answers
209 views

Why does replication require primers while transcription does not?

In transcription, there is no need for any primer. I guess the basic mechanism of DNA polymerase & RNA polymerase is the same. So why does replication have the need for a primer?
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1answer
106 views

Bicoid regulation of hunchback

I'm learning about development via the example of Drosophila embryogenesis. I understand that bicoid regulates hunchback, among other genes. My question whether the regulation is direct or indirect? ...
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5answers
286 views

What is the lowest common denominator of cancer?

What is the lowest level attribute that all cancers share? Also, what is the highest level attributes that all cancers share?
5
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3answers
227 views

Are some non-coding RNA spliced?

Are some non-coding RNA spliced like mRNA? I tried to find some information but I don't find anything...
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136 views

Measuring reverse transcriptase activity in E. coli

Goal: To quantify the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity for a number of mutated RTs. Idea: Put RT into a vector in E.coli. Deliver GFP mRNA to E.coli. RT will process the mRNA. The ...
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143 views

What are some examples of genes that code for multiple proteins?

The title pretty much says it all. It is widely taught that a gene in a eukaryotic system could produce more than one protein due to post-transcriptional modification, but I do not believe I have come ...
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1answer
503 views

Smallest unit on which selection can act

Traditionally, the individual was considered to be the smallest unit on which Natural Selection (NS) acts. Today, we usually consider the gene as being the unit of NS. Of course, we should also ...
5
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1answer
1k views

What is the distinction between F' plasmid and R plasmid?

Is there a difference between an F' plasmid that has taken up a chromosomal gene that conveys antibiotic resistance, and an R plasmid? Is a bacterium containing an R plasmid and yet lacking an F+ ...
5
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1answer
163 views

Is there a practical upper limit to amount of nucleotides or genes in a transformed plasmid?

I'm currently working on a synthetic biology project which involves working with lots of different parts. I would ultimately like to integrate these genes by transforming a single plasmid. I've heard ...
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2answers
4k views

What's the difference between shotgun sequencing and clone based sequencing?

What are the main differences between shotgun sequencing and clone based sequencing?
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1answer
206 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 ...
5
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1answer
42 views

Is there are practical lower limit to gene length in E. coli?

Question is rather self-explanatory. Putting aside other post-transcriptional factors like rate of degradation of transcript, what is the smallest gene ever reported to have successfully been ...
4
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2answers
93 views

Ethidium bromide and mutagenesis on cloning

When performing a DNA cloning, sometimes PCR amplicon is run in agarose and it is detected by ethidium bromide marking under UV light. After that, gel is sliced, DNA extracted from gel....... until ...
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94 views

Detecting food fraud

There's undoubtedly more than one way to do this, but if a DIY biologist were to attempt to detect food fraud (e.g. as done by students from Stanford University and Trinity School, Manhattan with ...
4
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43 views

Are there known downsides to removing UV mutation hotspots to prevent some skin cancers (Genetic sunblock)?

Khavari et al. recently demonstrated that a significant fraction of one of the major forms of skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas) are associated with a mutated KNSTRN gene (a protein ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Influence of temperature on transcription, protein binding and decay rates

I am the kind of biologist who doesn't know much about molecular genetics and about the dynamic of biochemical reactions. Question My question concerns the influence of temperature on the dynamic of ...
4
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1answer
125 views

Sexual Differentiation in Monoecious plants with unisexual flowers

In monoecious plants having unisexual flowers (eg Zea Mays, Ricinus Communis etc), there must be some mechanism as to produce two sexually distinct flowers from the same genotype. Since both the type ...
4
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1answer
818 views

Is ovum + ovum fertilization possible for human?

In humans is it possible to fertilize a ovum with another ovum from the same female subject? I already found some works in which the ovum is fertilized by a somatic cell (see e.g. this ), but I am ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Difference between mutation and DNA damage

What is the strict difference between mutation and DNA damage? As far as I understand it, a mutation is an alteration in the genetic sequence, having "tricked" the repairing machinery and thus ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Co-transformation of plasmids from the same incompatibility group

Can two plasmids with the same origin of replication (for example pBR322 ori) and thus from the same incompatibility group be successfully co-transformed in E. coli? What are the mechanisms that would ...
4
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2answers
54 views

Cell cycle selection

Is it possible to select from colonies only cells which are at a certain stage in the cell cycle? E.g. if I was trying to analyse expression of a number of genes during different stages of the cell ...
4
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1answer
149 views

Vigorous shaking for HFR interrupted mating

I am trying to reproduce E. coli interrupted mating using an HFR strain, and I read that the cultures should be vigorously shaken at times to interrupt the DNA transfer from the F+(HFR) donors to the ...
3
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3answers
321 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 ...
3
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3answers
104 views

Restriction endonucleases are found in?

Quoting from : Scientific American July 1975 The Manipulation of genes by Stanley Cohen : Restriction endonucleases (and modification methylases) are widespread in microorganisms; genes for ...
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2answers
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Which restriction enzyme would i use?

Plasmid pBr322 includes two genes that confer antibiotic resistance: a gene for ampicillin and a gene for tetracycline. The cutting site for the restriction enzyme BamH1 is in the middle pf the ...
3
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2answers
78 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
53 views

Why aren't introns found on the ends of pre-RNA?

We recently learned in genetics class that exons always cap the ends of nascent RNA. I have been trying to figure out the reason why introns can't instead be found on the ends instead of exons. The ...
3
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1answer
32 views

Why do we use DNA sequencing methods such as shotgun?

I am learning about DNA cloning for the first time. What I understand is that, in order to clone DNA, we break-up the original gene into shreds. Then try to piece it back together. Why exactly do we ...