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Scientists discover second DNA code

Posted on Friday, 13 December, 2013 | Comment icon 17 comments

There appears to be more to DNA than previously believed. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Christoph Bock
The breakthrough was made as part of a project funded by the US National Human Genome Research Institute.
It has long been believed that DNA is responsible for telling the cells how to make proteins, but thanks to an international collaboration of research groups scientists now believe they have identified a second DNA code, one that instructs cells on how genes are controlled.

"For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made," said John Stamatoyannopoulos who is lead author of the study. "Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture."

The find is important because it implies that changes in DNA that occur due to illness or age may be having more of an effect that previously believed.

"Many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously," said Prof Stamatoyannopoulos.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (17)

Tags: DNA

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Frank Merton on 15 December, 2013, 5:57
The discovery showed how frugal nature sometimes is, using the same code for two different purposes. The idea is to pack as much info into as small a space as possible I guess. I'm kinda curious what "God's secret ingredients" might look like and what function they might serve. Maybe genetic code for the soul? I'm sorry but that sort of statement is very hard to refrain from ridiculing.
Comment icon #9 Posted by ShadowSot on 15 December, 2013, 6:13
Presumably it's hidden in the slight differences between human, bonobo, and chimpanzee genomes.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Neognosis on 15 December, 2013, 16:18
I thought that WAS DNA...?
Comment icon #11 Posted by qxcontinuum on 16 December, 2013, 5:33
And at cost i might ask ? In the same time to what good? Convenience?
Comment icon #12 Posted by ShadowSot on 16 December, 2013, 6:00
Mostly time and effort and money. The medical do require testing. The proudest moments have been when those subjects were volunteers, the darkest were when they were forced. Yes. The conveniences of parents being able to watch their children grow to be adults. The internet has facilitated communication across nations and encouraging the free exchange of ideas, something that leads to general improvement and progress for the societies that partake in it, something we can see throughout history, take the Library in Alexandria for example. I live in the United States of America, the country t... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by regeneratia on 17 December, 2013, 23:29
Have you noticed that there is no explanation on what was discovered? Nothing scientific in this article. When I searched for it, I couldn't find out just what that code was and how they found it. It is all so vague. While I do believe that it may well be true, there is no science whatsoever given for it. I maintain that the environment the cell is in heavily influences gene expression.
Comment icon #14 Posted by regeneratia on 17 December, 2013, 23:32
But WHAT is interesting? What it is? I need to know more.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 17 December, 2013, 23:41
The second DNA code is interesting.
Comment icon #16 Posted by regeneratia on 17 December, 2013, 23:48
Yes, but what is it? I am still looking. "John Stamatoyannopoulos" what a name! This is a better explanation: " The genetic code is similar for all organisms and is stored in one of the two DNA strands as Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine © and Thymine (T). These four letters are the 'alphabet' of the genetic code and are used to code . The code consists of three-letter words (also called triplets or codons). There are a total of 64 codons. Now, researchers have found that the codons, which they refer to as duons, can be used for gene control. The team s... [More]

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