Recent Research in Biotechnology Breaking science news and articles on global warming, extrasolar planets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology, dinosaurs, evolution -- the latest discoveries in astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, climate & environment, computers, engineering, health & medicine, math, physics, psychology, technology, and more -- from the world's leading universities and research organizations.Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Official Blog

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Recent Research in Biotechnology


Designer molecule shines a spotlight on mysterious 4-stranded DNA


Date:          September 9, 2015
Source:      Imperial College London
Summary:  A small fluorescent molecule has shed new light on knots of DNA thought to play a role in regulating how genes are switched on and off. DNA is typically arranged in a double helix, where two strands are intertwined like a coiled ladder, but previous research has shown the existence of unusual DNA structures called quadruplexes, where four strands are arranged in the form of little knots.

Structure of a G-quadruplex DNA highlighting one of the guanine tetrads.
Credit: Imperial College London
A small fluorescent molecule has shed new light on knots of DNA thought to play a role in regulating how genes are switched on and off.

Capturing introns: Targeting rapidly evolving regions of the genome for phylogenetics


New protocol for targeting intron-containing genes to resolve evolutionary relationships between closely related species

Date:
September 9, 2015
Source:
Botanical Society of America
Summary:
Researchers have developed a technique to capture rapidly evolving genomic regions to understand evolutionary relationships among closely related species. Typically, studies use protein-coding genes, which evolve at a relatively slow rate. The current study targets introns (the non-coding part of genes), which evolve at a much higher rate. Using publicly available genomic data, the technique was successfully tested on a recent, rapid radiation of plants in the Heuchera group.
Understanding the evolutionary history of organisms is important for myriad reasons. To name a few, information about relationships between species can be used to guide the classification of biodiversity, inform conservation policies aimed at protecting threatened species, aid in tracking the spread of pathogens, and can even play a role in the discovery of new medicines.
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