Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Scientists discover second, secret DNA code

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Media
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A technician shows a DNA sample, on February 22, 2013, in Nantes, western France

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    AFP/AFP/File – A technician shows a DNA sample, on February 22, 2013, in Nantes, western France

Scientists have long believed that DNA tells the cells how to make proteins. But the discovery of a new, second DNA code Thursday suggests the body speaks two different languages.

The findings in the journal Science may have big implications for how medical experts use the genomes of patients to interpret and diagnose diseases, researchers said.

The newfound genetic code within deoxyribonucleic acid, the hereditary material that exists in nearly every cell of the body, was written right on top of the DNA code scientists had already cracked.

Rather than concerning itself with proteins, this one instructs the cells on how genes are controlled.

Its discovery means DNA changes, or mutations that come with age or in response to viruses, may be doing more than what scientists previously thought, he said.

“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said lead author John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine.

“Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture,” he said.

“Many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously.”

Scientists already knew that the genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons.

But now researchers have figured out that some of these codons have two meanings.

Coined duons, these new elements of DNA language have one meaning related to protein sequence and another that is related to gene control.

The latter instructions “appear to stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they are made,” the study said.

The discovery was made as part of the international collaboration of research groups known as the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, or ENCODE.

It is funded by the US National Human Genome Research Institute with the goal of finding out where and how the directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome.

UK Considers Creation of Genetically Engineered Hybrid Humans.

UK Considers Creation of Genetically Engineered Hybrid Humans

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Raidersnews – As described in the book  Exo-Vaticana – The process in question involves replacing the genetic information governing the mitochondria in the cells. The mitochondria generate most of the energy that a cell uses to function. So when they don’t work right, it causes serious problems for the body those cells are a part of. And those flaws can be passed on genetically, which is why scientists in 2008 discovered how to prevent these problems from being passed on, by the process that was the focus of the study. Currently, any sort of genetic modification of an embryo or zygote is supposedly only done in a research setting, and not for actual baby-making. This study could be the first step in turning that policy around, though. Now that the government-ordered study is published, the issue heads to Parliament.

 

ITechPost – While still technically illegal in the UK, a new study from the Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has found that the British public has mostly no objection to the idea of an embryo being formed from the DNA of three people, to prevent the passage of certain genetic disorders.

The study, done at the request of the British government, found widespread public support for a method of in vitro fertilization which uses trace amounts of DNA from one woman to replace damaged portions of DNA in the original mother’s egg. …..More