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American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- Jan. 23, 2008
Date:1/28/2008

Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) News Service Weekly PressPac with news from ACS 36 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News. Please credit the individual journal or the American Chemical Society as the source for this information.

ALL CONTENT IS FOR IMMEDIATE USE EXCEPT ARTICLE #5, which is embargoed for 9 A. M., Eastern Time, Jan. 28, 2008.

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Genetic telepathy? A bizarre new property of DNA
Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Scientists are reporting evidence that intact, double-stranded DNA has the amazing ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. And then like friends with similar interests, the bits of genetic material hangout or congregate together. The recognition of similar sequences in DNAs chemical subunits occurs in a way once regarded as impossible, the researchers suggest in a study scheduled for the Jan. 31 issue of ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Geoff S. Baldwin, Sergey Leikin, John M. Seddon, and Alexei A. Kornyshev and colleagues say the homology recognition between sequences of several hundred nucleotides occurs without physical contact or presence of proteins, factors once regarded as essential for the phenomenon. This recognition may help increase the accuracy and efficiency of the homologous recombination of genes a process responsible for DNA repair, evolution, and genetic diversity. The new findings thus may shed light on ways to avoid recombination errors, which underpin cancer, aging, and other health problems.

In the study, scientists observed the behavior of fluorescently tagged DNA strands placed in water that contained no proteins or other material that could interfere with the experiment. Strands with identical nucleotide sequences were about twice as likely to gather together as DNA strands with different sequences. Amazingly, the forces responsible for the
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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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