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(Bio) (Chem) DNA Used Like Velcro to Make Cells Stick
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adedios
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:27 pm    Post subject: Evolution is driven by gene regulation Reply with quote

Yale University
9 August 2007
Evolution is driven by gene regulation

New Haven, Conn. — It is not just what’s in your genes, it’s how you turn them on that accounts for the difference between species — at least in yeast — according to a report by Yale researchers in this week’s issue of Science.

“We’ve known for a while that the protein coding genes of humans and chimpanzees are about 99 percent the same,” said senior author Michael Snyder, the Cullman Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale. “The challenge for biologists is accounting for what causes the substantial difference between the person and the chimp.”

Conventional wisdom has been that if the difference is not the gene content, the difference must be in the way regulation of genes produces their protein products.

Comparing gene regulation across similar organisms has been difficult because the nucleotide sequence of DNA regulatory regions, or promoters, are more variable than the sequences of their corresponding protein-coding regions, making them harder to identify by standard computer comparisons.

“While many molecules that bind DNA regulatory regions have been identified as transcription factors mediating gene regulation, we have now shown that we can functionally map these interactions and identify the specific targeted promoters,” said Snyder. “We were startled to find that even the closely related species of yeast had extensively differing patterns of regulation.”

In this study, the authors found the DNA binding sites by aiming at their function, rather than their sequence. First, they isolated transcription factors that were specifically bound to DNA at their promoter sites. Then, they analyzed the sequences that were isolated to determine the similarities and differences in regulatory regions between the different species.

“By using a group of closely and more distantly related yeast whose sequences were well documented, we were able to see functional differences that had been invisible to researchers before,” said Snyder. “We expect that this approach will get us closer to understanding the balance between gene content and gene regulation in the question of human-chimp diversity.”


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Other authors on the paper were Mark Gerstein, Anthony R. Borneman, Tara A. Gianoulis, Zhengdong D. Zhang, Haiyuan Yu, Joel Rozowsky and Michael R. Seringhaus at Yale and Lu Yong Wang at Siemans Corporate Research, Princeton NJ. The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation.

Citation: Science 317: 815-819 (August 10, 2007).
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:09 am    Post subject: Share Alike: Genes from bacteria found in animals Reply with quote

Week of Sept. 1, 2007; Vol. 172, No. 9 , p. 131

Share Alike: Genes from bacteria found in animals
Patrick Barry

Some insects and roundworms pick up DNA from bacteria living within their cells, new research shows.

The DNA transfer occurs in the animals' egg cells, so the genetic modification passes between generations. The mechanism therefore provides an alternative to mutation of existing DNA as a way for the species to acquire new genetic traits.

For the full article:

http://sciencenews.org/articles/20070901/fob1.asp
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:05 pm    Post subject: Genes influence people's economic choices Reply with quote

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1 October 2007

Genes influence people's economic choices

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-An international team of researchers including an MIT graduate student has demonstrated for the first time that genes exert influence on people's behavior in a very common experimental economic game.

Traditionally, social scientists have been quite hesitant to acknowledge a role for genes in explaining economic behavior. But a study by David Cesarini, a Ph.D. student in MIT's Department of Economics, and by colleagues in Sweden indicates that there is a genetic component to people's perception of what is fair and what is unfair.

The paper, to be published in the Oct. 1 advanced online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the ultimatum game, in which a proposer makes an offer to a responder on how to divide a sum of money. This offer is an ultimatum; if the responder rejects it, both parties receive nothing.

Because rejections in the game entail a zero payoff for both parties, theories of narrow self-interest predict that any positive amount will be accepted by a responder. The intriguing finding in the laboratory is that responders routinely reject free money, presumably in order to punish proposers for offers perceived as unfair.

To study genetic influence in the game, Cesarini and colleagues took the unusual step of recruiting twins from the Swedish Twin Registry, and had them play the game under controlled circumstances. Because identical twins share the same genes but fraternal twins do not, the researchers were able to detect genetic influences by comparing the similarity with which identical and fraternal twins played the game.

The researchers' findings suggest that genetic influences account for as much as 40 percent of the variation in how people respond to unfair offers. In other words, identical twins were more likely to play with the same strategy than fraternal twins.

“Compared to common environmental influences such as upbringing, genetic influences appear to be a much more important source of variation in how people play the game,” Cesarini said.

“This raises the intriguing possibility that many of our preferences and personal economic choices are subject to substantial genetic influence,” said lead author Bjorn Wallace of the Stockholm School of Economics, who conceived of the study.


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Other members of the research team include Paul Lichtenstein of the Swedish Twin Registry and senior author Magnus Johannesson of the Stockholm School of Economics.

The research was funded by the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation and the Swedish Research Council.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: What's in Your Genes? Ancient Parasites Reply with quote

What's in Your Genes? Ancient Parasites
By Andrea Thompson, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 14 November 2007 03:57 pm ET

You may not know it, but you're part virus.

At least, some of your genes come from viruses that slipped their DNA into the genes of our primate ancestors millions of years ago.

The DNA remnants of these ancient "retroviruses," distant relatives of today's HIV, account for an estimated 8 percent of the human genetic code and may have enabled master genes that account for some of the differences between us and our chimpanzee relatives.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....genes.html
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: DNA Kits: Secrets of Your Past or Scientific Scam? Reply with quote

DNA Kits: Secrets of Your Past or Scientific Scam?
By Meredith F. Small, LiveScience's Human Nature Columnist

posted: 07 December 2007 08:05 am ET

One of the by-products of human consciousness is self-consciousness, that is, knowing deeply that you are alive.

Part of self-consciousness is also wondering where we came from; it's clearly human nature to seek one's roots.

For some people, that task is relatively easy because there are oral legends or written words that go back at least several generations (assuming family history is passed down accurately). But for most people, the path backwards is rocky, cluttered with confusing detour signs, or simply blank.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/his.....-kits.html
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject: My DNA Project Reply with quote

It's a web site. It's a class.
And it's for everyone who has DNA.


http://www.biochem.umass.edu/mydna/
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Genetic “telepathy”? A bizarre new property of DNA Reply with quote

Genetic “telepathy”? A bizarre new property of DNA
Journal of Physical Chemistry B
28 January 2008

Scientists are reporting evidence that intact, double-stranded DNA has the “amazing” ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. And then like friends with similar interests, the bits of genetic material hangout or congregate together. The recognition — of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits — occurs in a way once regarded as impossible, the researchers suggest in a study scheduled for the Jan. 31 issue of ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Geoff S. Baldwin, Sergey Leikin, John M. Seddon, and Alexei A. Kornyshev and colleagues say the homology recognition between sequences of several hundred nucleotides occurs without physical contact or presence of proteins, factors once regarded as essential for the phenomenon. This recognition may help increase the accuracy and efficiency of the homologous recombination of genes — a process responsible for DNA repair, evolution, and genetic diversity. The new findings thus may shed light on ways to avoid recombination errors, which underpin cancer, aging, and other health problems.

In the study, scientists observed the behavior of fluorescently tagged DNA strands placed in water that contained no proteins or other material that could interfere with the experiment. Strands with identical nucleotide sequences were about twice as likely to gather together as DNA strands with different sequences. “Amazingly, the forces responsible for the sequence recognition can reach across more than one nanometer of water separating the surfaces of the nearest neighbor DNA,” said the authors. — AD

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “DNA Double Helices Recognize Mutual Sequence Homology in a Protein Free Environment”

DOWNLOAD ARTICLE http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jp7112297
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