Navigation Links
Rice physicists help unravel mystery of repetitive DNA segments
Date:12/6/2010

HOUSTON -- (Dec. 6, 2010) -- With new tools that can grab individual strands of DNA and stretch them like rubber bands, Rice University scientists are working to unravel a mystery of modern genomics. Their latest findings, which appear in Physical Review Letters, offer new clues about the physical makeup of odd segments of DNA that have just one DNA base, adenine, repeated dozens of times in a row.

These mysterious "poly(dA) repeats" are sprinkled throughout the human genome. Scientists have also found them in the genomes of animals, plants and other species over the past decade. But researchers do not know why they are there, what function they perform or why they occur only with the DNA base adenine and not the other three DNA bases -- cytosine, guanine and thymine.

"Previous investigations of poly(dA) have suggested that adenine bases stack in a very uniform way," said Ching-Hwa Kiang, a co-author of the new study and assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Rice. "Our investigation focused on what happens when single strands of poly(dA) were stretched and these stacks were pulled apart."

Kiang's research group specializes in studying the physical and mechanical properties of proteins and nucleic acids, and their primary tool is one of the mainstays of nanotechnology research -- the atomic force microscope, or AFM. The business end of an AFM is like a tiny phonograph needle. The tip of the needle is no more than a few atoms wide, and the needle is at the end of an arm that bobs up and down over the surface of what is being measured. While nanotechnologists use the device to measure the thickness of samples, Kiang's group uses it in a different way.

To begin her experiments, Kiang first places a thin coating of the proteins she wishes to study on a flat surface. This is placed under the AFM arm so the bobbing AFM needle can dip down and grab the ends of one of the proteins. As the arm retracts, it unravels t
'/>"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UCLA physicists control chemical reactions mechanically
2. Applied physicists create building blocks for a new class of optical circuits
3. CU physicists use ultra-fast lasers to open doors to new technologies unheard of just years ago
4. Digging deep into diamonds, applied physicists advance quantum science and technology
5. Rice physicists kill cancer with nanobubbles
6. Diamonds may be the ultimate MRI probe, say Quantum physicists
7. Louisiana Tech physicists highlight top 10 science stories of 2008
8. How do bacteria swim? Brown physicists explain
9. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
10. Raising giant insects to unravel ancient oxygen
11. New research aims to unravel how phosphorus pollution drives toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Rice physicists help unravel mystery of repetitive DNA segments
(Date:9/30/2014)... 30, 2014  Spectra Automation, a trusted ... biotech and power generation industries, announced today ... Manager, an easy-to-use and cost-effective data collection, ... development laboratories. Most upstream ... analyzer systems. Accessing and consolidating data from ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... called Clostridium ramosum , coupled with a high-fat diet, ... this week in mBio , the online open-access journal ... team from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in ... C. ramosum gained weight when fed a high-fat diet. ... less obese even when consuming a high-fat diet, and mice ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... story from 2009, "human activities in this area of the ... oil is increasingly grown for use as a cooking oil ... It has become the most widely produced edible oil in ... surpass that of soybean oil. , The environmental effects of ... to grow the crop, and the preferred method is fire. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Spectra Automation Introduces RECONN Bioprocess Manager 2Gut bacteria promote obesity in mice 2
... 2013 UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report that ... to inflammatory disease, indicating that the production of a ... clock. The study published in the Nov. 8 ... pathway by which the body,s circadian clock controls the ...
... Science Foundation (NSF), in cooperation with interagency and ... awards under a program that supports multi- and ... and sustainability of the natural and living environment, ... the Arctic. Six projects have been ...
... URBANA, Ill. Despite a 12-year action plan calling for ... progress has been made, and there is no evidence that ... University of Illinois researchers have identified some of the biophysical ... "We are suggesting that a partnership of researchers work ...
Cached Biology News:UT Southwestern researchers identify how body clock affects inflammation 2UT Southwestern researchers identify how body clock affects inflammation 3NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability 2NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability 3NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability 4NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability 5NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability 6Researchers suggest plan to address hypoxia in Gulf of Mexico 2Researchers suggest plan to address hypoxia in Gulf of Mexico 3
(Date:9/30/2014)... On September 11, Pharma IQ conducted an interview ... a session that he will lead on “Stem Cells” at ... 17-18, 2015 in London. In the interview posted ... to respond to several questions on the current state of ... cell toxicity, and future trends in the use of stem ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... CA (PRWEB) September 30, 2014 ... million burn injuries require medical attention. In the ... brings serious complications to battlefield medical care. More ... Iraq and Afghanistan. Burn wounds heal slowly, remain ... can be excessive, physically debilitating and functionally damaging. ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... TORONTO , Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech ... Exchange: PBT.U), is pleased to announce that its three ... of Portage, who advanced $ 100,000 each in July ... have their Notes and related Coupons converted into 3,500,001 ... and carried 5% coupon. Both the Note and the ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... 29, 2014 Transparency Market Research, in ... SPPS, LPPS, HPPS, by Application - Cancer, Metabolic, CVS, ... and by Delivery) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... the global peptide therapeutics market was worth US$14.1 billion ... by 2018 at an 8.7% CAGR. , The two ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Director James L. Sherley Discusses Stem Cell Toxicology 2Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Director James L. Sherley Discusses Stem Cell Toxicology 3Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Director James L. Sherley Discusses Stem Cell Toxicology 4Faster Healing with Fewer Scars 2Portage announces conversion of its debt into equity 2Portage announces conversion of its debt into equity 3Global Peptide Therapeutics Market to be Worth US$25.4 Billion by 2018: Transparency Market Research 2Global Peptide Therapeutics Market to be Worth US$25.4 Billion by 2018: Transparency Market Research 3
... Calif., Jan. 21 VNUS(R) Medical,Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... minimally invasive treatment of peripheral vascular disease,announced today that ... quarter ended December 31, 2007, after the close of ... regular quarterly teleconference at 2:00 p.m. PT,/ 5:00 p.m. ...
... Two Development Milestones in its Ofatumumab ... Collaboration With GlaxoSmithKline., COPENHAGEN, January 21 ... second and third development milestones,for ofatumumab (HuMax-CD20(R)) under the terms ... of the collaboration of DKK 87.2 million,was triggered by treatment ...
... company insiders knowingly misrepresented the ... ... Sobol Shapiro filed a,proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of CellCyte ... the company and chief executive officer Gary A.,Reys, background, causing ...
Cached Biology Technology:VNUS Medical Technologies to Report Fourth-Quarter 2007 Results and Webcast Teleconference on February 7 2Genmab Reaches Milestones in Ofatumumab Collaboration 2Genmab Reaches Milestones in Ofatumumab Collaboration 3Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro: Lawsuit Filed Against CellCyte Genetics Corporation 2Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro: Lawsuit Filed Against CellCyte Genetics Corporation 3