Navigation Links
A 'wild card' in your genes
Date:12/7/2011

The human genome and the endowments of genes in other animals and plants are like a deck of poker cards containing a "wild card" that in a genetic sense introduces an element of variety and surprise that has a key role in life. That's what scientists are describing in a review of more than 100 studies on the topic that appears in ACS Chemical Biology.

Rahul Kohli and colleagues focus on cytosine, one of the four chemical "bases" that comprise the alphabet that the genetic material DNA uses to spell out everything from hair and eye color to risk of certain diseases. But far from just storing information, cytosine has acquired a number of other functions that give it a claim to being the genome's wild card. "In poker, the rules of the game can occasionally change," they note in the article. "Adding a 'wild card' to the mix introduces a new degree of variety and presents opportunities for a skilled player to steal the pot. Given that evolution is governed by the same principles of risk and reward that are common to a poker game, it is perhaps not surprising that a genomic 'wild card' has an integral role in biology."

They discuss the many faces of cytosine that make it such a game-changer and the biological processes that help to change its identity. Removing something called an amine group from cytosine, for instance, allows the immune system to recognize and destroy foreign invaders such as viruses. Adding so-called "methyl groups" on cytosines acts as on/off switches for genes. The authors say that these many faces of cytosine allow it to play various roles and give it true "wild card" status.


'/>"/>
Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. New thinking required on wildlife disease
2. Wildlife access critical to childrens health
3. 5 rare wild cat species caught on camera in Sumatra
4. Wildlife Conservation Society helps scarlet macaws take flight in Guatemala
5. Drying intensifying wildfires, carbon release ninefold, study finds
6. Wildlife Conservation Society uncovers record number of jaguars in Bolivia
7. Russian and US veterinarians collaborate to solve mysterious wild tiger deaths
8. Researchers: Apply public trust doctrine to rescue wildlife from politics
9. Wildlife Conservation Society study uncovers a predictable sequence toward coral reef collapse
10. A wild and woolly discovery: FSU scientists Tibetan expedition ends with prehistoric find
11. New threat closes in on iconic Galápagos wildlife
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing ... M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing ... Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kapstone Medical ... 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop and safeguard their ... renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in the United States ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for ... damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently come together to address ... antibodies in the laboratory. , The team at Thermo Fisher ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... A staple in the community for more ... incorporate important key elements including a new digital marketing strategy and updated logo. , ... Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: