Genetics - GEG Tech top picks
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Opinion: Consumer DNA Testing Is Crossing into Unethical Territories

Opinion: Consumer DNA Testing Is Crossing into Unethical Territories | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Data don’t support many direct-to-consumer products, from telomere assessments to bespoke diets based on genetic sequences.
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Direct-to-consumer DNA testing has provided genetic information to more than 12 million individuals, traditionally for exploring ancestry. While such testing does not violate ethical guidelines, other uses of consumer DNA testing may cross the line. Over the past few years, many of these DNA testing companies have branched out into the realm of precision health, treading into ethically dangerous territories. 

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Scientists discover a role for 'junk' DNA

Scientists discover a role for 'junk' DNA | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

Researchers have determined how satellite DNA, considered to be 'junk DNA,' plays a crucial role in holding the genome together.

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Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have determined how satellite DNA, considered to be "junk DNA," plays a crucial role in holding the genome together.

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Millions of new genes in human microbiome: Study triples the amount of data on the human microbiome

Millions of new genes in human microbiome: Study triples the amount of data on the human microbiome | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Strains, functions and dynamics in the expanded Human Microbiome Project - Nature
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A new study of the human microbiome has uncovered millions of previously unknown genes from microbial communities in the human gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, allowing for new insights into the role these microbes play in human health and disease.

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How are long strands of DNA packed into tiny cells?

How are long strands of DNA packed into tiny cells? | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Structure and Dynamics of a 197 bp Nucleosome in Complex with Linker Histone H1
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Scientists are a step closer to understanding how DNA, the molecules that carry all of our genetic information, is squeezed into every cell in the body. How DNA is “packaged” in cells influences the activity of our genes and our risk for disease. Elucidating this process will help researchers in all areas of health care, from cancer and heart disease, to muscular dystrophy and osteoarthritis.

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The Piwi‐piRNA pathway: road to immortality

The Piwi‐piRNA pathway: road to immortality | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

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Despite its medical, social, and economic significance, understanding what primarily causes aging, that is, the mechanisms of the aging process, remains a fundamental and fascinating problem in biology.  Accumulating evidence indicates that a small RNA-based gene regulatory machinery, the Piwi-piRNA pathway, represents a shared feature of nonaging (potentially immortal) biological systems. Here the authors discuss about the genomic instability induces by transposable elements which could substantially contribute to the aging process.

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Close-Up View of DNA Replication Yields Surprises

Close-Up View of DNA Replication Yields Surprises | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Independent and Stochastic Action of DNA Polymerases in the Replisome
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Almost all life on earth is based on DNA being copied, or replicated, and understanding how this process works could lead to a wide range of discoveries in biology and medicine. Now for the first time scientists have been able to watch individual steps in the replication of a single DNA molecule, with some surprising findings. For one thing, there’s a lot more randomness at work than has been thought.

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Disentangling chloroplast genetics: Scientists isolate a critical gene for plant health

Disentangling chloroplast genetics: Scientists isolate a critical gene for plant health | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

 

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Proper DNA inheritance is essential for healthy chloroplast: the energy center of all plant cells. Researchers discover a new gene in chloroplast that disentangles its DNA for proper plant health.

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Researchers uncover a potent genetic element in Earth’s smallest life forms

Researchers uncover a potent genetic element in Earth’s smallest life forms | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Retroelement-guided protein diversification abounds in vast lineages of Bacteria and Archaea
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It’s the stuff of science fiction, though there’s nothing fiction about it: Researchers have discovered a multitude of previously unidentified microorganisms possess a genetic element that enables them to self-mutate.

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TSRI Scientists Discover Master Regulator of Cellular Aging

TSRI Scientists Discover Master Regulator of Cellular Aging | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

TZAP: A telomere-associated protein involved in telomere length control

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a protein that fine-tunes the cellular clock involved in aging. (Science  12 Jan 2017 DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6752)

This novel protein, named TZAP, binds the ends of chromosomes and determines how long telomeres, the segments of DNA that protect chromosome ends, can be. Understanding telomere length is crucial because telomeres set the lifespan of cells in the body, dictating critical processes such as aging and the incidence of cancer.

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"Junk RNA" molecule found to play key role in cellular response to stress - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

"Junk RNA" molecule found to play key role in cellular response to stress - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found a surprising role for what had been considered a nonfunctional “junk” RNA molecule: controlling the cellular response to stress.
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A new study has found a surprising role for what had been considered a nonfunctional 'junk' RNA molecule: controlling the cellular response to stress.

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Humans' close relatives, chimps and bonobos, were kissing cousins

Humans' close relatives, chimps and bonobos, were kissing cousins | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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The study, involving researchers from ICREA in Barcelona, revealed chimps (pictured) interbred with their cousins just like humans and Neanderthals did in the past, leaving a lasting genetic legacy.

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NIH Researchers find gene, PIEZO2 responsible for 'six sense'

NIH Researchers find gene, PIEZO2 responsible for 'six sense' | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602812#t=article

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With the help of two young patients with a unique neurological disorder, an initial study by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that a gene called PIEZO2 controls specific aspects of human touch and proprioception, a “sixth sense” describing awareness of one’s body in space. Mutations in the gene caused the two to have movement and balance problems and the loss of some forms of touch. Despite their difficulties, they both appeared to cope with these challenges by relying heavily on vision and other senses.

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Identification of 15 genetic loci associated with risk of major depression in individuals of European descent - Nature Genetics 

Identification of 15 genetic loci associated with risk of major depression in individuals of European descent - Nature Genetics  | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Ashley Winslow, Roy Perlis, David Hinds and colleagues report the identification of 15 genetic loci associated with risk of major depressive disorder in individuals of European descent. They find that several loci are also associated with risk of other psychiatric traits, including schizophrenia and neuroticism.

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DNA i-motifs found in human cells

DNA i-motifs found in human cells | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Similar to G-quadruplexes, these folded DNA structures could be selective drug targets
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In 2013, a research group confirmed that G-quadruplexes were present in human cells (Nat. Chem.2013, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1548 and C&EN, Jan. 21, 2013, page 8). Now a separate group, led by Marcel E. Dinger and Daniel Christ of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has confirmed that i-motifs are also there (Nat. Chem. 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0046-3). The work helps pave the way for the search for i-motif-targeted drugs.

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Reduced mutation rate in exons due to differential mismatch repair - Nature

Reduced mutation rate in exons due to differential mismatch repair - Nature | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Here the authors find fewer somatic mutations in exons than expected from their sequence content and demonstrate that this is not due to purifying selection. Instead, they show that it is caused by higher mismatch-repair activity in exonic than in intronic regions. These findings have important implications for understanding of mutational and DNA repair processes and knowledge of the evolution of eukaryotic genes, and they have practical ramifications for the study of evolution of both tumors and species.
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New Technique Searches ‘Dark Genome’ for Disease Mutations - Columbia University Medical Center

New Technique Searches ‘Dark Genome’ for Disease Mutations - Columbia University Medical Center | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Researchers have found a way to identify disease-causing genetic mutations in the non-coding region of the genome, which has been uninterpretable until now.

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New insight into how telomeres protect cells from premature senescence

New insight into how telomeres protect cells from premature senescence | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
Telomere Length Determines TERRA and R-Loop Regulation through the Cell Cycle
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Researchers found an RNA species identifying critically short telomeres / Publication in Cell

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Psst, the human genome was never completely sequenced

Psst, the human genome was never completely sequenced | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Contrary to popular belief, the human genome was never completely sequenced. Some scientists say those gaps may play a role in diseases such as cancer.

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Social Networking for the Proteome, Upgraded 

Social Networking for the Proteome, Upgraded  | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Harvard Medical School researchers have mapped the interaction partners for proteins encoded by more than 5,800 genes, representing over a quarter of the human genome, according to a new study published online in Nature on May 17.

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“Smart” Cephalopods Trade Off Genome Evolution for Prolific RNA Editing

“Smart” Cephalopods Trade Off Genome Evolution for Prolific RNA Editing | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are famous for engaging in complex behavior, from unlocking an aquarium tank and escaping to instantaneous skin camouflage to hide from predators. A new study suggests their evolutionary path to neural sophistication includes a novel mechanism: Prolific RNA editing at the expense of evolution in their genomic DNA.

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The Origin of Stem Cells

The Origin of Stem Cells | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
The protein WOX2 is responsible for enabling plants to develop organs throughout their lives
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Freiburg plant biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Laux and his research group have published an article in the journal Developmental Cell presenting initial findings on how shoot stem cells in plants form during embryogenesis, the process of embryonic development. Pluripotent stem cells can develop into any type of cell in an organism. In contrast to animals, plants can form completely new organs from their stem cells throughout their lives, which in the case of several species of trees may span a thousand years or more. Stem cell research promises to solve key problems in medicine and plant breeding. However, whereas the function of stem cells for the regeneration of tissue or for growth has been studied in detail, much less is known so far about how stem cells form in the course of embryonic development.

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The Role of RNA Binding Protein hnRNP A2/B1 in ALS

For more information, see Martinez et al., Neuron 92(4), http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(16)30655-9. What goes wrong during the devastatin
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The first half of the video illustrates how transcription works. We see DNA transcribed to RNA and learn that some parts of the RNA, the introns, get cut out of the final protein blueprint before it's delivered to the ribosomal protein factories. This is when hnRNP A2/B1 makes its debut: apparently it's important for determining which bits of RNA are discarded. Next we see a ribosome churning out a protein one amino acid at a time.

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Shaping up to make the cut - LMU Munich

Shaping up to make the cut - LMU Munich | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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Before RNA copies of genes can program the synthesis of proteins, the non-coding regions are removed by the spliceosome. Munich researchers report that distinct conformations of a member of this molecular complex play a vital role in the process.

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Scientists at the CNIO have deconstructed 1 of the myths of biological innovation

Scientists at the CNIO have deconstructed 1 of the myths of biological innovation | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it

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While the number of coding genes (those that produce proteins) in the human species has been consistently dwindling in recent years - the figures have fallen to fewer than 20,000-, it has been claimed that the dimension of the proteome, the element that executes the instructions in the genome, could be larger. This diversity of proteins has become one of the main sources of complexity in mammals, including the human species. 

A study of the Alfonso Valencia's group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) published in the journal Trends in Biochemical Sciences, conclued that while there are many alternative variants of RNAs from a single gene, only a few genes (246, slightly more than 1 per cent of the human genome) presented clear evidence of producing more than one protein.

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Genes Essential to Life Found in Mouse Mutants are Related to Many Human Disease Genes

Genes Essential to Life Found in Mouse Mutants are Related to Many Human Disease Genes | Genetics - GEG Tech top picks | Scoop.it
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About one-third of all genes in the mammalian genome are essential for life. An international, multi-institutional research collaboration identified, for the first time, mutant traits in the mouse for 52 human disease genes, which significantly contributes to the understanding of the genetic bases for some human diseases, including cardiovascular defects, spina bifida, and metabolic disorders, among many others.

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