Navigation Links
Uncovering DNA's 'sweet' secret

DNA's simple and elegant structure - the "twisted ladder," with sugar-phosphate chains making up the "rails" and oxygen- and nitrogen-containing chemical "rungs" tenuously uniting the two halves - seems to be the work of an accomplished sculptor.

Yet the graceful, sinuous profile of the DNA double helix is the result of random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew.

Just how nature arrived at this molecule and its sister molecule, RNA,remains one of the greatest - and potentially unsolvable - scientific mysteries.

But Vanderbilt biochemist Martin Egli, Ph.D., isn't content to simplystudy these molecules as they are. He wants to know why they are the way they are.

"These molecules are the result of evolution," said Egli, professor of Biochemistry. "Somehow they have been shaped and optimized for aparticular purpose."

"For a chemist, it makes sense to analyze the origin of these molecules."

One particular curiosity: how did DNA and RNA come to incorporate five-carbon sugars into their "backbone" when six-carbon sugars, like glucose, may have been more common? Egli has been searching for the answer to that question for the past 13 years.

Recently, Egli and colleagues solved a structure that divulges DNA's "sweet" secret. In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Egli and colleagues report the X-ray crystal structure of homo-DNA, an artificial analog of DNA in which the usual five-carbon sugar has been replaced with a six-carbon sugar.

By exchanging the sugars that make up the DNA backbone, researchers can make and test plausible "alternatives" to DNA - alternatives that nature may have tried out before arriving at the final structure. These alternative structures can then reveal why DNA's genetic system is more favorable than the other possible forms.

"If you can change the molecules chemically or functionally, you can see what is so particular about the
'"/>

Source:Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Uncovering sex-change secrets of black sea bass
2. Insight into DNAs weakest links may yield clues to cancer biology
3. Brown-Harvard team solves mobile DNAs surgical sleight-of-hand
4. Climatologists discover deep-sea secret
5. Think fast! Rice undergrad unlocks nerve speed secret
6. UVa researchers seek to unlock broccolis cancer fighting secret
7. Scientists identify prions infectious secret
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Uncovering DNA sweet secret

(Date:10/31/2014)... in cities is good for attracting species, but it may ... University of Iowa study has found. , The researchers surveyed ... and recorded the abundance of two insects that interact with ... trees, black cherry and black walnut, they didn,t find a ... that feed on the walnuts and black cherries and a ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... been studying the behavior of approximately 300 wild ... They observed that ravens slowly build alliances through ... they also observed that these affiliative interactions were ... about 50 % of the cases these interventions ... ravens, intervening can be potentially risky when the ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... LANSING, Mich. – When most animals begin life, cells ... or a vital organ. However, mammals, including humans, are ... a different first choice – to become the protective ... It,s during this critical first step that research from ... published in the current issue of PLOS ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Green spaces don't ensure biodiversity in urban areas 2Identifying the source of stem cells 2
... Nelson Laboratories ( www.nelsonlabs.com ) will offer free ... in San Jose, CA ... Those interested in a consultation should register at ... Rollins will also present, "Selection, Testing and Validation ...
... Wilhoit and Timothy Coolong from the University of Kentucky ... application of organic mulches more efficient. The research team ... in the August issue of HortTechnology . The ... to document its efficiency. "We modified an unroller so ...
... Why do crosses between closely related species fail to ... Axel Imhof of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich shows that ... - of certain key proteins are crucial in mediating ... to the same biological species, if matings between them ...
Cached Biology News:Nelson Laboratories to Offer Free Biocompatibility Consultations During BIOMEDevice San Jose 2New bale unroller design deemed effective 2Origin of species: Protein imbalances doom hybrids 2
(Date:10/30/2014)... Investor-Edge has initiated coverage on ... Medivation Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN ), Pharmacyclics Inc. ... MKT: SYN), and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD). Free ... http://investor-edge.com/register . On Wednesday, October 29, ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.18%, to finish ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... UK (PRWEB) October 29, 2014 Global ... of the world economic crisis during 2008-2009, especially in ... has recovered and currently is keeping to a growing ... output volume is utilized in the construction segment. In ... of pipes, profiles, tubing, sheets and rigid film. Moreover, ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... On October 26th at the Mid ... leading applied stem cell research scientist Neil Riordan, ... talks on New Techniques for Enhancing Stem Cell ... Cells. , Dr. Riordan focused on historical medical ... AlphaGEMS that include: wound healing; inflammation and pain ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 2014 Rancho BioSciences , the ... manually curated public data source TCGA for ... the data is now available for other oncology groups. ... and internal data sources for their Pharma, Government and ... the data that becomes more easily accessible. Rancho ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biotech Equities Movers and Shakers - Organovo Holdings, Medivation, Pharmacyclics, Synthetic Biologics, and Ironwood Pharma 2Biotech Equities Movers and Shakers - Organovo Holdings, Medivation, Pharmacyclics, Synthetic Biologics, and Ironwood Pharma 3Biotech Equities Movers and Shakers - Organovo Holdings, Medivation, Pharmacyclics, Synthetic Biologics, and Ironwood Pharma 4Biotech Equities Movers and Shakers - Organovo Holdings, Medivation, Pharmacyclics, Synthetic Biologics, and Ironwood Pharma 5Global Polyvinyl Chloride Demand Is on Upward Trend Now, Says Merchant Research & Consulting in Its Topical Study 2Global Polyvinyl Chloride Demand Is on Upward Trend Now, Says Merchant Research & Consulting in Its Topical Study 3Riordan-McKenna Institute Founders, Neil Riordan, PhD and Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Wade McKenna Present at the Mid American Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Showcase 2Riordan-McKenna Institute Founders, Neil Riordan, PhD and Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Wade McKenna Present at the Mid American Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Showcase 3Riordan-McKenna Institute Founders, Neil Riordan, PhD and Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Wade McKenna Present at the Mid American Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Showcase 4Rancho BioSciences Manually Curated TCGA Data Sets Available 2
... leading innovator in the development and commercialization of sensing systems ... (CBRNE) materials, today announced a media awareness initiative for JMAR,s ... online system for real-time detection of pathogens in water. ... ...
... release of GridGain 2.1 - the next version of its innovative ... ... January 13, 2009 -- GridGain Systems is proud to ... its innovative Java-based Open Cloud Platform. GridGain 2.1 provides the industry ...
... Coronary StentForms Alliance to Jointly Develop Drug Eluting ... announced today that that the company entered into ... incorporated subsidiary of Opto Circuits (OCI) Ltd., by ... Maxcor,s Genius MAGIC Cobalt Chromium Coronary Stent System ...
Cached Biology Technology:JMAR Technologies Raises Awareness of BioSentry -- A High Tech Counter to Bioterrorism 2JMAR Technologies Raises Awareness of BioSentry -- A High Tech Counter to Bioterrorism 3JMAR Technologies Raises Awareness of BioSentry -- A High Tech Counter to Bioterrorism 4GridGain 2.1 - Open Cloud Platform Enables Development of Native Cloud Applications 2GridGain 2.1 - Open Cloud Platform Enables Development of Native Cloud Applications 3Micell Forges Strategic Agreement to Develop Advanced Drug-Eluting Stents and Balloons 2Micell Forges Strategic Agreement to Develop Advanced Drug-Eluting Stents and Balloons 3
... dUTPase The thermostable dUTPase(pyrococcus ... PCR (using proofreading DNA polymerases). ... PCR reactions and dNTP solutions. ... proofreading DNA polymerase reaction can prevent ...
... an exciting product for cell-based kinetic assays ... the use of expensive HTS equipment, which ... the assay development stage. The NOVOstar offers ... as well as any other assay suitable ...
... save space and organize gloves, ... other garb. They are the ... small parts used in labs, ... Open-slot design for easy cleaning. ...
... Agilent Technologies introduces an enhanced ... ICP-MS for Windows 2000 and ... From September 2003, all new ... controlled by the new ChemStation ...
Biology Products: