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 -
Epigenetic Memory's On/Off Switch Found
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' - Barbara Hambly, 1982.
Rabbit's Brain Cryogenically Frozen Successfully
'Even in the case of the most perfect freezing there is still some activity...' - Edward Page Mitchell, 1879.
Denisovans, Neandertals... And Us?
'But in far realms, among strange hominids, you couldn't shun each other, either.' - Larry Niven, 1996.
Gene-Edited Muscle Dogs From China
'Its skull was improbably high-domed and its eyes, deep-set, were disturbingly uncanine.' - John Brunner, 1975.
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.
Otto Self-Driving Truck Kits
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'
Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.'
Is This Robotic Hand As Quick As Yours?
'V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot of precision quality...'
DARPA's XS-1 Spaceplane
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.'
OMG! DIY Arduino Robot Vacuum Cleaner Like Bradbury's Mice
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
NASA Culturing ISS Walls For Microbes
'Collect organisms and dust for study...'
Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'
Implants Melt In Your Brain, Not In Your Hands
Implant and forget - they melt in your brain, not in your hands.
Baby Boomers Will LOVE Autonomous Cars (Trust Me!)
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars....'
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet Tests His Suit
'The interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'
DIY Method To Summon Tesla With Amazon Echo
'Thomas focussed the violet beam of a hand flash on a plate...'
AI Lawyer 'Ross' Gets First Job
'Why don't we just feed the bloody thing to LEX...'
MIT's Second Skin Enhances Original Skin
'I must care, or I wouldn't live in this lying skin suit...'
CommU Robot Children Scare Me
'Is David malfunctioning?'
VelociRoACH Insect Robots Cooperate
'They wheeled and turned in macabre simultaneity...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories