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{bio,medical} informatics

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet Genomic junk
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"Nearly 97% of the DNA in the human genome is believed to be junk DNA. It may seem wasteful, but most of the DNA in all higher organisms appears to be junk. Whatever information is contained in junk DNA is never translated into proteins. Intron DNA is transcribed into RNA but does not appear after maturation, and it is never translated into protein. To determine if much of the junk DNA is intron DNA, researchers used a new approach to analyze all of the complete or nearly complete genomes on record. They conclude that most junk DNA in animals is intron DNA. Their conclusion, however, does not apply to plant DNA.

Reference: Wong, G.K.-S., Passey, D.A., Huang, Y.-z. et al. 2000. Is "junk" DNA mostly intron DNA? Genome Res. 10(11):1672-1678."
find related articles. powered by google. Bioresearch Online New role for 'junk' DNA proposed – cathodic protection
"A hypothesis formulated by Adam Heller, who holds the Ernest Cockrell Sr. Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, suggests that genes are cathodically protected against oxidation by long stretches of non-coding DNA, sometimes referred to as junk DNA. Cathodic protection, first described in 1824 by the English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy, involves the transfer of electrons from one conducting material to an adjacent one, and is used to prevent corrosion on ships, pipelines, and other metal structures. Heller is proposing a similar mechanism is at work in DNA, and may be important to the understanding of aging, mutations, and cancer."

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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