DNA and RNA Research
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DNA and RNA Research
The latest news and information about DNA- and RNA-related research
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Tips for effective use of BLAST and other NCBI tools

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides one of the most extensive sets of web-based tools for biological research. The tools are indispensable when planning genomics experiments, including for qPCR, NGS, and CRISPR. In this presentation, Dr Matt McNeill takes a practical look at getting started with the wealth of NCBI tools, and shares some relevant tips to help you sift through the tools and options that we regularly use. In particular, he focuses on commonly adjusted parameters that will allow you to more effectively use the powerful Basic Local Alignment Algorithm Tool (BLAST) to identify off-target hybridization/annealing events. Dr McNeill also covers practical examples using NCBI tools to design assays.

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Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression. The study also identified the pathway that conveys the force from the outside of the cell into the nucleus.

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New research reveals cancers need a 'perfect storm' of conditions to develop

New research reveals cancers need a 'perfect storm' of conditions to develop | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time the ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that cells need to start forming cancer.

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Using DNA tests to let women with breast cancer skip chemo

Using DNA tests to let women with breast cancer skip chemo | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Women with early breast cancer can safely skip chemo if a DNA test finds low risk of metastasis — even if traditional medical tests find higher risk.

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Fateful evolution: new study improves accuracy of cancer diagnosis

Fateful evolution: new study improves accuracy of cancer diagnosis | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

In a new study, Carlo Maley, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, uses evolutionary theory to make predictions about which Barrett's esophagus patients will go on to develop cancer. The results, which appear in the current issue of the journal Nature Communications, point the way toward more accurate medical assessments for patients with BE and the development of early-warning beacons of disease known as biomarkers.

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Peaceful ant-plant partnerships lead to genomic arms races

Peaceful ant-plant partnerships lead to genomic arms races | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

New study overturns the assumption that friendly partnerships mean slower evolution

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Carp undergo ‘reverse evolution’ to get their scales back

Carp undergo ‘reverse evolution’ to get their scales back | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Once bred to be nearly scaleless, the common carp reverts to its wild look

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Tips for effective use of BLAST and other NCBI tools

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides one of the most extensive sets of web-based tools for biological research. The tools are indispensable when planning genomics experiments, including for qPCR, NGS, and CRISPR. In this presentation, Dr Matt McNeill takes a practical look at getting started with the wealth of NCBI tools, and shares some relevant tips to help you sift through the tools and options that we regularly use. In particular, he focuses on commonly adjusted parameters that will allow you to more effectively use the powerful Basic Local Alignment Algorithm Tool (BLAST) to identify off-target hybridization/annealing events. Dr McNeill also covers practical examples using NCBI tools to design assays.

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Rising sea temperatures could enhance and accelerate radiation induced DNA effects in marine mussels

Rising sea temperatures could enhance and accelerate radiation induced DNA effects in marine mussels | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Increased sea temperatures could dramatically enhance and accelerate radiation-induced DNA effects in marine invertebrates, a new study suggests.

 

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Obesity: do children and adults share influential genetic risk factors? 

Obesity: do children and adults share influential genetic risk factors?  | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Genetic variation can influence the development of obesity - but is this influence age-dependent? In a recent BMC Genetics article, Dr Janine Felix and colleagues find that some genetic variants associated with obesity risk are shared between early and later life stages - information which may be beneficial for prevention and intervention strategies.

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Research opens the door to more accurate genetic testing for inherited diseases

Research opens the door to more accurate genetic testing for inherited diseases | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

New research allows scientists to better determine which gene mutations are responsible for inherited heart disease.

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Researchers identify gene associated with age-related hearing loss 

Researchers identify gene associated with age-related hearing loss  | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

A large screening program has identified several genes associated with age-related conditions including hearing loss, retinal degeneration and osteoarthritis. The animal study, published in Nature Communications, may lead to studies of the equivalent human gene and help develop screening program to identify the risk of developing an age-related condition many years before symptoms appear.

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Exploring Alternative Codon Usage in Yeast 

Exploring Alternative Codon Usage in Yeast  | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Newly discovered amino acid reassignment could have implications for certain biotech applications and RNA-based evolutionary theories.

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Hormone Activation Of Genes Takes Teamwork

Hormone Activation Of Genes Takes Teamwork | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

The forward march of science often blunders into the realization that nature’s way of doing things is a lot more complicated than we thought. So it is apparently with the process that activates genes to start the machinery for manufacturing proteins, according to a team of Duke scientists.

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UCLA-led study sheds new light on the complex genetics of autism

UCLA-led study sheds new light on the complex genetics of autism | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Scientists find new autism-linked gene, and discover that autistic siblings don’t always have the same disease-related mutations.

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A New Step in Re-Creating First Life on Earth 

A New Step in Re-Creating First Life on Earth  | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

An RNA molecule that can make copies of a variety of RNAs adds new support to the RNA-world theory.

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Physicist's DNA Chip Offers Big Possibilities in Cell, Cancer Studies 

Physicist's DNA Chip Offers Big Possibilities in Cell, Cancer Studies  | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

A UT Dallas physicist has developed a novel technology that not only sheds light on basic cell biology, but also could aid in the development of more effective cancer treatments or early diagnosis of disease.

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Double-stranded DNA Meets its Match

Double-stranded DNA Meets its Match | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Given the complexity of the nuclear environment in which DNA resides, it’s hard to imagine how complementary regions find one another during homologous recombination. Now, researchers show that homologous double-stranded DNA sequences can physically associate with one another in a sequence-specific manner, without the aid of proteins.

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Physical Force Upregulates Gene Expression

Physical Force Upregulates Gene Expression | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Applying a mechanical force that pulls on a cell stretches chromatin, facilitating transcription, scientists show.

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Breast cancer cells found to switch molecular characteristics

A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators reveals how spontaneous changes in the molecular characteristics of tumors can lead to tumors with a mixed population of cells requiring treatment with several types of therapeutic drugs.

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Scientists Unravel Genetic Ancestry of Cultivated Strawberry

Scientists Unravel Genetic Ancestry of Cultivated Strawberry | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire have unlocked a major genetic mystery of one of the ancestors of cultivated strawberry. A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers, which took four years to complete, aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers.

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Analog DNA Circuit Does Math in a Test Tube

Analog DNA Circuit Does Math in a Test Tube | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly. But in recent decades, some researchers have been putting the letters of the genetic code to a different use:  making tiny nanoscale computers.

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Biologists are close to reinventing the genetic code of life

Biologists are close to reinventing the genetic code of life | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

The term "life hacking" usually refers to clever tweaks that make your life more productive. But this week in Science, a team of scientists comes a step closer to the literal meaning: hacking the machinery of life itself. They have designed—though not completely assembled—a synthetic Escherichia coli genome that could use a protein-coding scheme different from the one employed by all known life. Requiring a staggering 62,000 DNA changes, the finished genome would be the most complicated genetic engineering feat so far. E. coli running this rewritten genome could become a new workhorse for laboratory experiments and a factory for new industrial chemicals, its creators predict.

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Inherited Mutations Identified in Advanced Prostate Cancers

Inherited Mutations Identified in Advanced Prostate Cancers | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

An NCI Cancer Currents blog about the discovery in men with advanced prostate cancer of inherited mutations in genes that play a role in repairing damaged DNA. 

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The quest for a better prenatal test zeroes in on a baby’s cells

The quest for a better prenatal test zeroes in on a baby’s cells | DNA and RNA Research | Scoop.it

A scientist says a blood test that can discern a fetus’s entire genome is coming.

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