Archives for posts with tag: DNA

MPs in the UK have voted to approve the use of DNA from parents, along with mitochondria from a donor egg, to create embryos that are free from devastating mitochondrial diseases. Story from BBC News website

It’s that time of the year when you are looking for Christmas gifts for the scientist in your life. Have a look at this post on xxpress PCR for some great DNA-themed ideas.

Researchers have used PCR to create DNA profiles from fingerprints – XXPress PCR

The DNA in our cells, carrying our genetic code, is usually in a double helix. However, researchers have found quadruple strands of DNA in cells. These might be linked to certain types of cancer. Read the paper in Nature Chemistry.

It’s easy to see how genes can control simple behaviour, but can they really control something as complicated as mice digging sets of burrows to specific lengths and constructing escape routes – well, according to a new piece of research, four regions on the genome could do just that.

Researchers at Harvard University have created 3-dimensional DNA building blocks that work like LEGO bricks, and have created over a hundred microscopic three-dimensional nanostructures, including honeycomb, letters and a tiny model of the space shuttle.

According to recent DNA studies from a team of researchers, the Romani people arose in India around 1500 years ago, earlier than previously thought. They then spread across Europe via the Balkans about 900 years ago.

Not so much a science fact now as a maybe one day – Craig Venter (the genetics visionary behind the first cell with a synthetic genome) has suggested that we could have 3D DNA printers at home that could download and print out a vaccine for us to administer ourselves.  Tests are under way.

Messages in your DNA can give geographic clues to your family’s past, creating a ‘GPS’ for your genes. This uses software to locate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs – changes in single letters in the DNA code) that have mutated in the past and have then been passed on to a population in a specific place. The researchers believe that this allows people’s origin to be placed on a map on the basis of their genetic information alone.

Analysis of a Siberian cave girl’s genome links ancient and modern humans, and shows that she had brown hair, eyes and skin.  The DNA comes from a fragment of finger bone found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in East Central Asia. The bone is thought to be 30,000 to 50,000 years old.

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