RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is a biological macromolecule made of nucleotides used in cells to convey genetic information to protein. RNA also plays a role in catalyzing certain biological reactions as well as carrying genetic material in some viruses.

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Detecting Introns and Exons

I know that when RNA is transcribed from the original strand of DNA it contains introns and exons, and that the introns are spliced out of the strand to provide genetic diversity. However, what I ...
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Current state of direct RNA sequencing

I had a colleague ask me recently whether mRNAs could be sequenced directly. I found this Nature paper[1] published by Helicos in 2009, in which they describe their developments in the area. It's been ...
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How do amino acids become attached to tRNA?

Is there a protein that catalyzes this or does it happen spontaneously? In which part of the cell does this happen?
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Very high 260/230 absorbance ratio of an RNA sample

After my most recent RNA extraction, the RNA samples had very high 260/230 absorbance ratios, (ranging from 5 to 25). I've never gotten numbers like this and I know the ratio is supposed to be ~2 in ...
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Does ethanol destroy RNase?

I've gotten conflicting advice on this: some people believe one can remove RNase contamination simply by spraying the bench, pipettes, gloves, etc. with ethanol. Others think ethanol does not destroy ...
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What is the function of the RNA primer in DNA replication?

During DNA replication, RNA primase puts an RNA primer in the lagging strand. What is the function of this RNA primer? Why can't the enzymes put DNA fragments directly?
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How does a single-stranded RNA bind to a double-stranded DNA to form a “triplex structure”?

If you have a single-stranded RNA that is complementary to a double-stranded DNA, how do they interact to form what my prof. calls a "triplex structure"? e.g. ...
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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?
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What are the distinctive structural features of single- or double-stranded xRNA, or where can I find them?

I am interested in the structural differences caused by benzopurines and benzopyrimidines at the oligonucleotide level between RNA and xRNA, both in single-stranded and double-stranded form. I am ...
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224 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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Are there any strictly chloroplast/mitochondrion-residing ribozymes?

A simple question that had occurred to me. Considering the small doubt of transcribed genes in both organelles, I would doubt it, but are there any known ribozymes strictly found in either ...
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213 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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circulating microRNAs are functional?

In plasma and other body fluids, miRNAs can be found. They not only originate from dying cells but also from active secretion and are usually 'packed' into vesicles/lipo-proteic structures (i.e. ...
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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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897 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 ...
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112 views

Is it possible to sequence only the 16S rRNA component? If so, how?

There have recently been several papers on using 16S rRNA as a way of identifying species (here, and here). I'm wondering if it's possible to sequence either just that subunit of the ribosome or just ...
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88 views

Majority of transcripts are from sense strand?

I am wondering whether majority of transcripts are transcribed from the 5'->3' strand? Because I encounter a lot of expressions like "anti-sense transcripts". Could anybody help clarify this? Thanks.
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Purpose of poly(A)+ RNA?

I am learning RNA-seq analysis. I always encounter this phase "poly(A)+ RNA". After searching, I got this: "Most messenger RNAs contain a poly(A) tail, while structural RNAs do not. Poly(A) selection ...
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Mouse meta-globin mRNA problem

This is an mRNA strand of mouse meta-globin: 5'-ccccagauacggaauucgaau-3' A) Which small RNA (below) is most likely to regulate expression of meta-globin? ...
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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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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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Why does RNA adopt an A-form helix?

RNA is known to form an A-form helix, while DNA generally forms a B-form helix under physiological conditions. From left to right: A-form DNA, B-form DNA, Z-form DNA. Image created by Richard ...
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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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How long can I store extracted RNA?

If I extract RNA from a (leaf tissue) sample using a one-step phenol:chloroform extraction, how long can those samples be stored at -80°C? And how many times can I defrost and refreeze them before ...
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How do I clean phenol contaminated RNA without losing any of the sample?

I recently extracted RNA from developing plant leaves for the first time, as part of a very long and intensive experiment. The samples were extremely precious because of the amount of effort that went ...
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635 views

Reverse transcription PCR optimization

What is the ideal amount of RNA to use for the RT? and how much cDNA to use then for the PCR? I did RT with a solution of RNA of 0.36 ug/ul. Then for my PCR I used 1 ul of the cDNA obtained and used ...
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Absorption ratios 260/280 and 260/230 for RNA

I extracted RNA from different cell lines, an I want to perform reverse transcription and then PCR. To get good results, in which range should the absorption ratios 260/280 nm and 260/230 nm be? And ...
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What implications has the missing 2'-OH on the capability of DNA to form 3D structures?

The chemical difference between RNA and DNA is the missing 2'-hydroxyl group in the nucleotides that build DNA. The major effect of that change that I know of is the higher stability of DNA compared ...
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Why is uracil used in RNA rather than thymine?

What is the advantage gained by the substitution of thymine with uracil? I have read previously that it is due to thymine being "better protected" and therefore more suited to the storage role of ...
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Which sequence characteristics influence the transcription efficiency of T7 polymerase?

The T7 polymerase doesn't transcribe all sequences equally well, the transciption efficiency can vary widely for different sequences. One well known requirement of the T7 polymerase is that the ...
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How is RNAse contamination in RNA based experiments prevented?

Does anyone have any suggestions to prevent RNAse contamination when working with RNA? I tend to have issues with degradation regardless of whether I use DEPC treated / RNAse free water and filtered ...