Human 'Quadruple Helix' DNA
Cambridge University scientists writing in the Journal Nature say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time.
(A representation of the four-stranded structure (L) with fluorescent markers)
They suggest that control of the structures could provide novel ways to fight the disease.
"The existence of these structures may be loaded when the cell has a certain genotype or a certain dysfunctional state," said Prof Shankar Balasubramanian from Cambridge's department of chemistry.
"We need to prove that; but if that is the case, targeting them with synthetic molecules could be an interesting way of selectively targeting those cells that have this dysfunction," he told BBC News.
Although I think that there were references by scientists to the idea of four-stranded DNA by the early 1970's, science fiction writers didn't hesitate to introduce the idea to sf readers. This excerpt is from the original Hitchhiker's Radio Scripts written by Douglas Adams broadcast in 1978.
"The Haggunenons of Vicissitus Three have the most impatient chromosomes of any life form in the Galaxy. ... Their genetic structure, based on the quadruple sterated octohelix, is so chronically unstable, that far from passing their basic shape onto their children, they will quiet frequently evolve several times over lunch."
Via BBC; thanks to Eric Nodacker for the tip and the reference for this article.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/20/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Gene-Edited Muscle Dogs From China
'Its skull was improbably high-domed and its eyes, deep-set, were disturbingly uncanine.' - John Brunner, 1975.
Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend. Man's best friend. Man's best friend.
Synthetic Coral To Clean The Seas?
'Numberless capillaries arranged in a belt around the smart coral reef...'- Neal Stephenson, 1995.
'Cortical Modem' Latest On DARPA's Wishlist
'...inside his skull... is a little cylinder, that neuronic receptor-transmitter.'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1938.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Algorithm Predicts Marriage Success (HAL 9000 Will See You Now)
'I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset....'
Denmark Island Earth (Verdenskortet ala Ringworld)
'They wanted to keep something of what they were losing...'
Humai Startup To Implant Your Brain In Robot Body
'The astounded onlookers saw a human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'
Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
We're getting there, one launch at a time.
X125 Snake-Arm Inspection Robot Video
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'
Super-Thin Smart Glazing Displays
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'
Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
'Ellis had found a weak point, a shimmer, at which another continuum completely had been visible.'
Active Wellness Smart Car Seat
'Maybe the car was right...'
Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
'...Permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."
Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'
Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'
Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'
Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'
Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
'...the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories