CRISPR-Cas9 scissors can cut through both DNA and RNA

CRISPR is more like a swiss army knife now.

Novel cancer ‘assassin’ discovered: Huntington’s Disease

Repetitive RNA molecules found in Huntington’s disease are toxic to cancerous cells.

Experiment mimicked Earth’s early atmosphere hit by extraterrestrial impact. It produced all four RNA bases

A classic science experiment was revisited to explore the origin of life.

A major difference between DNA and RNA could explain why one is the go-to blueprint for life

Keeping your genes in good condition is priority nr.1 for all life.

Key findings help unravel journey from inanimate chemistry to life

In the beginning, the Earth’s surface was a lifeless, hot, but chemically rich place. In these harsh conditions, the first amino acids synthesized from inorganic compounds, and from them, proteins formed. They built the first single cells, which went on to form plants and animals. Recent research helped us understand the process that created amino acids, and there is a widespread consensus in the scientific community as to the path cells took to evolve to complex life as we know it today.

Genetic response to starvation is passed down to at least three generations

In 1944, the Nazis caused widespread famine in Western Netherlands after they blocked food supplies. A group of pregnant women living in the Netherlands, labouring under starvation conditions imposed by a harsh winter and food embargo, gave birth to relatively small babies. When their children grew up, in relative prosperity, to have children of their own their babies were unexpectedly small.

Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma

Scientists have shown that trauma can leave epigenetic marks – chemical changes that affect how DNA is expressed without altering its sequence. Basically, your traumatic experiences genetically affect your offspring. Scientists have recently focused on the long term after effects of trauma, finding them to be numerous and diverse. The offspring of traumatized people are at a high risk of depression and

Research suggests we use 4 times more DNA than previously believed

Less than 1.5 percent of our DNA is used in a conventional way, that is to encode for proteins – this was the common sense around this issue 10 years ago; recently, previous research has shown that 5-8% of the genome is conserved at the level of DNA sequence, indicating that it is functional, but we don’t really know exactly

Synthetic DNA and RNA that mimics chemistry of life can encode genetic information and evolve

Scientists at UK Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology have successfully managed to create an artificial version of both DNA and RNA, fundamental biomolecules crucial to life. The synthetic nucleic acids are capable of encoding information and passing it on to the next generation, even with changes in the code with the help of an intermediate molecule, thus proving that

Biologists use DNA for calculating square roots

Biological systems have recently attracted the attention of mathematicians and computer scientists, who have been turning everything from quantum processes to RNA into logic gates. But before you get paranoid about DNA controlling Skynet, you have to know that these systems have only been successful on a small scale, calculating square roots on four-bit numbers, and each calculation took over

Lifeless prions are capable of evolution

Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute have determined for the first time that prions, which are just bits of infectious protein without any DNA or RNA that can cause fatal degenerative diseases are capable of Darwinian evolution. This study shows that prions do develop significant large numbers of mutations at a protein level as a response to external influences, and