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:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a ... announced that it has received Laboratory Accreditation from ... Accreditation is presented to laboratories that meet stringent ... demonstrate scientifically rigorous processes. "Genos is ... in laboratory practices. We,re honored to be receiving ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Feb 10, 2017 Research and ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to ... ... Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as ... detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)...  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical ... address significant unmet medical needs in rare diseases, ... ended December 31, 2016. "2016 ... we broadened our pipeline and pursued our vision ... with an initial focus on endocrinology," said ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 The global chronic kidney ... report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The top four ... AbbVie Inc., accounted for a share of only 41.4% ... this market are focusing aggressively on mergers, acquisitions, and ... likely to lead to market consolidation in the next ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... , ... Premier executive recruitment firm, Slone Partners, is proud to have been ... , Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the most respected life science ... the human capital sector. , “It is a great honor for Slone Partners to ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has announced the ... be held on May 10-11, 2017, at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston, MA. The ... Medical Officer peer-to-peer learning, benchmarking and support. , “The Chief Medical Officer faces a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: