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DNA & RNA Research
The latest news and information about DNA- and RNA-related research
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DNA Day: Celebrating the Impact of Our Genomics Research on Society and Looking Toward the Future

DNA Day: Celebrating the Impact of Our Genomics Research on Society and Looking Toward the Future | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

What will be the impact of genomics on our science and society in another 38 years from now, the 100th year anniversary of Crick and Watson’s discovery? Read the winning entries of our 2015 DNA Day essay contest that asked researchers to describe their predictions for the impact of genomics in 2053.

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DNA samples from Purdue, Kew fungi collections provide key to mushroom 'tree of life'

DNA samples from Purdue, Kew fungi collections provide key to mushroom 'tree of life' | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Genetic material from fungi collections at Purdue University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, helped a team of researchers resolve the mushroom "tree of life," a map of the relationships between key mushroom species and their evolutionary history that scientists have struggled to piece together for more than 200 years.

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Cancer-Driving Mutations Common in Normal Skin Cells

Cancer-Driving Mutations Common in Normal Skin Cells | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

A deep-sequencing analysis reveals that non-malignant skin cells harbor many more cancer-driving mutations than previously expected. 

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Researchers pin down enzyme role in muscle 'aging'

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have identified the role of an enzyme in muscle wasting, and associated age-related problems. They believe that inhibiting it could hold the key to developing ways of preventing, or reversing, the adverse effects.

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DNA Methylation Analysis—Keeping it Simple

DNA Methylation Analysis—Keeping it Simple | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

DNA methylation is an epigenetic mech­anism that can regulate gene expression through several cell divisions, and even be heritable, without altering the underlying nucleotide sequence (see the sidebar, DNA Methylation in Vertebrates). A small but signif­icant proportion of all CpG islands become methylated during development, and when this happens the associated promoter is stably silent. Thus, methylation provides a means for non-genetic factors to influence gene behavior. Environment, diet, stress, and aging are all factors that can cause changes in DNA methylation patterns. Some of these changes in epi­genetic patterns are necessary; e.g., those involved in normal cellular differentiation; but they can also be detrimental, such as those that occur in many forms of cancer.

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CRISPR “Kill Switches” for GMOs

CRISPR “Kill Switches” for GMOs | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Researchers create an inducible method to remove specific genes and even kill escaped genetically modified organisms.

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Scientists discover tiny microbes with potential to cleanse Singapore’s waterways

A seven-year scientific study has revealed that microbial communities in urban waterways has the potential to play an important  role in cleansing Singapore’s waterways and also act as raw water quality indicators.

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Core Concept: CRISPR gene editing

Core Concept: CRISPR gene editing | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Just a few years ago, molecular biologists hoping to alter the genome of their favorite organisms faced an arduous task and likely weeks of genetic tinkering. Today, those scientists can quickly destroy or edit a gene with a new technology called CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)/Cas9.

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New approach powers up search for autism genes

New approach powers up search for autism genes | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

A statistical trick can help researchers home in on subtle genetic blips that contribute to autism, researchers reported Saturday at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research in Salt Lake City, Utah. These small alterations in the genome, called common variants, are thought to confer half of the genetic risk for autism.

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Y male sex chromosomes degenerate

Y male sex chromosomes degenerate | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

High-throughput sequencing charts the evolutionary history of the Y chromosome in threespine stickleback.

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Nature v nurture: research shows it’s both

Nature v nurture: research shows it’s both | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

One of the great tussles of science – whether our health is governed by nature or nurture – has been settled, and it is effectively a draw.

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Targeting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria with CRISPR and Phages

Targeting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria with CRISPR and Phages | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Researchers develop a CRISPR-based, two-phage system that sensitizes resistant bacteria to antibiotics and selectively kills any remaining drug-resistant bugs. 

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Small Non-Coding RNAs Can Cross The Placenta, Scientists Say

Small Non-Coding RNAs Can Cross The Placenta, Scientists Say | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Researchers claim that small exogenous RNAs from plants eaten by a mother can cross the placenta and affect fetal development.

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What drives advanced prostate cancer? New study describes genomic landscape

What drives advanced prostate cancer? New study describes genomic landscape | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

In a major advance in precision medicine, an international collaboration of researchers found 90 percent of castration resistant metastatic prostate cancers harbored some kind of genetic anomaly that could drive treatment choices.

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Oceans endeavour charts 40 million genes

Oceans endeavour charts 40 million genes | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Sailing boat expedition reveals new insights into climate change, and discovers a treasure trove of novel species and genes.

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Ancient wolf genome pushes back dawn of the dog

Ancient wolf genome pushes back dawn of the dog | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

DNA from 35,000-year-old Siberian wolf suggests that domesticated dogs emerged thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

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Expanding the Biologist’s Toolkit with CRISPR-Cas9

Expanding the Biologist’s Toolkit with CRISPR-Cas9 | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

It was only 7 years ago that a fledgling group of international scientists met at the University of California, Berkeley, for the first annual meeting on CRISPRs. A diverse range of expertise was represented—microbiology, biochemistry, metagenomics, food science—allowing the mystery of CRISPR immune system function to be unraveled collectively from multiple lines of experimentation. Each subsequent conference boasted more breakthrough discoveries, and the increasing rate of CRISPR-related publications reflected an intensifying interest in the topic. A description of the molecular function of Cas9 and suggestion of its use for genome engineering, presented at the 2012 meeting, foreshadowed an explosion of research using CRISPR-Cas9 that was soon to come.

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New age of genome editing could lead to cure for sickle cell anaemia

New age of genome editing could lead to cure for sickle cell anaemia | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

In a world-first advance, Professor Merlin Crossley and his team have shown that changing just a single letter of the DNA of human red blood cells increases their production of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin.

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DNA bank holds potential genetic clues about stuttering

DNA bank holds potential genetic clues about stuttering | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

UAlberta’s Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research collecting saliva samples to create world’s largest DNA repository of people who stutter. 

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One simple molecule regulates sexual behavior in Drosophila

One simple molecule regulates sexual behavior in Drosophila | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

The common vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster is a very well-studied animal. For decades, the fly has been used as a model organism in genetic research; its genome was fully sequenced in 2000. However, until now researchers have failed to identify the specific pheromone in this species that leads to mating success. Although the pheromones that inhibit mating in Drosophila were known, the positive pheromone signal that elicits courtship behavior and mating remained a mystery. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have succeeded in identifying a relatively simple molecule that is able to regulate complex mating behavior in vinegar flies: a fatty acid methyl ester called methyl laurate. Verification was a result of the combination of state-of-the-art chemical analytic techniques, physiological measurements in the fly brain, and behavioral assays. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May 2015)

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An unpredicted predictor of outcome in pediatric AML

An unpredicted predictor of outcome in pediatric AML | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

High expression of MMRN1 may serve as a novel predictive biomarker for refined risk assessment in AML.

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Targeted DNA degradation using a CRISPR device stably carried in the host genome

Targeted DNA degradation using a CRISPR device stably carried in the host genome | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Once an engineered organism completes its task, it is useful to degrade the associated DNA to reduce environmental release and protect intellectual property. Here we present a genetically encoded device (DNAi) that responds to a transcriptional input and degrades user-defined DNA. This enables engineered regions to be obscured when the cell enters a new environment. DNAi is based on type-IE CRISPR biochemistry and a synthetic CRISPR array defines the DNA target(s). When the input is on, plasmid DNA is degraded 108-fold. When the genome is targeted, this causes cell death, reducing viable cells by a factor of 108. Further, the CRISPR nuclease can direct degradation to specific genomic regions (for example, engineered or inserted DNA), which could be used to complicate recovery and sequencing efforts. DNAi can be stably carried in an engineered organism, with no impact on cell growth, plasmid stability or DNAi inducibility even after passaging for >2 months.

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The life and death of beta cells

The life and death of beta cells | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

ETH researchers studying microRNA – tiny strands of ribonucleic acid – in beta cells have found a type that plays a key role in cell death under stress.

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Landscape of Gene Expression in the Human Body

Landscape of Gene Expression in the Human Body | DNA & RNA Research | Scoop.it

Most genetic variations between people have little or no effect on health. The variants that have been linked to human health conditions often alter how genes are expressed—when and where they’re turned on and off. Scientists have only just begun to understand how these variations in different tissues of the body affect human biology and disease.

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