Scientists discover new genetic sub-code

By | April 19, 2010

http://xenophilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/godDNA.jpg… Each cell of an organism contains a copy of its genome, which is a sequence of nucleotides that make up DNA. The cell is able to translate some of the coding sequences into different proteins, which are necessary for an organism’s growth, the repair of some tissues and the provision of energy. For this translation work, the cell follows a decoding procedure provided by the “genetic code,” which tells what protein is made from a given sequence. The genetic code has been known since the early 1960’s. The researchers from ETH and SIB now identified a new sub-code that determines at which rate given products must be made by the cell. This information has several interesting implications.

First, it provides novel insights into how the decoding machinery works. Secondly, and more pragmatically, it makes possible to read information about gene expression rates directly from genomic sequences, whereas up to now, this information could only be obtained through laborious and expensive experimental approaches, such as microarrays. “A cell must respond very quickly to injuries such as DNA damage and to potent poisons such as arsenic. The new sub-code enables us to know which genes are turned-on quickly after these insults and which are best expressed slowly. One benefit of this study is that we now can get this information using only analysis of the coding sequence,” said Dr. Gina Cannarozzi.

Additionally, the new sub-code provides insight into cellular processes at the molecular level. …

via Scientists discover new genetic sub-code.

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