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Latest Mobile genetic elements Stories

9dd44ded838b9e0cfeb14136d76207a11
2009-05-21 09:20:00

Scientists have called it "junk DNA." They have long been perplexed by these extensive strands of genetic material that dominate the genome but seem to lack specific functions. Why would nature force the genome to carry so much excess baggage? Now researchers from Princeton University and Indiana University who have been studying the genome of a pond organism have found that junk DNA may not be so junky after all. They have discovered that DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as...

2009-05-04 07:14:47

Gene therapy Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient's cells resulting in a cure or a therapeutic effect. In recent years, it has been shown that gene therapy is a promising technology to treat or even cure several fatal diseases for which there is no attractive alternative therapy. Gene therapy can be used for hereditary diseases, but also for other diseases that affect heart, brain and even for cancer. Indeed, recent results suggest that gene therapy can be...

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2009-04-20 10:33:57

An international consortium of scientists, including researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), have probed further into the human genome than ever before. They have discovered how genes are controlled in mammals, as well as the tiniest genetic element ever found. Their discoveries will be published in three milestone papers in leading journal Nature Genetics. The research was coordinated by the RIKEN Yokohama Omics Science Center in Japan as part of the FANTOM4 consortium, with...

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2009-02-09 10:05:00

In the late 1990s the Finnish Yorkshire pig population was threatened by a genetic defect which spread at an alarming rate and led to infertility. The defective KPL2 gene in porcine chromosome 16 caused pig spermatozoa to be short-tailed and immotile. The recessive genetic defect did not cause any other symptoms in the pigs. Research Scientist Anu Sironen of MTT Agrifood Research Finland mapped the defective gene in her doctoral research. Sequence analysis of the candidate gene KPL2 revealed...

044eba1cc2a792d559c8f67802cff3511
2009-01-19 11:30:35

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tbingen, Germany, determined the structure of a protein (L1ORF1p), which is encoded by a parasitic genetic element and which is responsible for its mobility. The so-called LINE-1 retrotransposon is a mobile genetic element that can multiply and insert itself into chromosomal DNA at many different locations. This disturbs the genetic code at the site of integration, which can have serious consequences for the organism. On the...

1c230c49568de91b546ad8a185e9a9d71
2008-12-03 09:11:32

Discovery an important step in genomics research and quest for better crops Plant researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Berkeley, have announced a major breakthrough in a developmental process called epigenetics. They have demonstrated for the first time the reversal of what is called epigenetic silencing in plants. The findings are important to develop a better understanding of gene regulation in the continuing quest to breed enhanced crops that produce higher...

7eeaa24bcef21fb212072c09e230c7121
2008-11-28 12:01:13

A class of small RNAs inherited from the mother determines offspring's fertility trait Hereditary information flows from parents to offspring not just through DNA but also through the millions of proteins and other molecules that cling to it. These modifications of DNA, known as "epigenetic marks," act both as a switch and a dial "“ they can determine which genes should be turned on or off, and how much message an "on" gene should produce. One way in which epigenetic information is...

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2008-11-05 11:20:00

Helps explain human differences from other species In a paper published in Genome Research on Nov. 4, scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) report that what was previously believed to be "junk" DNA is one of the important ingredients distinguishing humans from other species. More than 50 percent of human DNA has been referred to as "junk" because it consists of copies of nearly identical sequences. A major source of these repeats is internal viruses that have inserted...

2008-10-05 03:00:09

By Ehrenberg, Rachel Genes & Cells 'Junk DNA' helps to distinguish people from other primates Genes alone don't make the man - after all, humans and chimps share roughly 98 percent of their DNA. But where, when and how much genes are turned on may be essential in setting people apart from other primates. A stretch of human DNA inserted into mice embryos revs up gene activity in developing thumbs, toes and limbs. But the chimp and rhesus macaque version of that DNA spurs only faint...

2008-08-07 12:00:21

Promega Corporation announces a new plasmid isolation system that simplifies and speeds the preparation of plasmid DNA. The Promega PureYield(TM) Plasmid Miniprep System allows researchers to purify plasmid DNA in less than 10 minutes from 600microl to 3 ml of culture with fewer steps. The smooth work flow is further enhanced with the lysis/neutralization indication dye that confirms samples are processed effectively. In addition to streamlining lab processes, PureYield provides plasmid...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'