• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Biology Scientific Events

Extracts from this document...


Current Events November 17, 2008 DNA, Jim, but not as we know it This article talks about a new discovery of DNA-like molecules using unnatural versions of the DNA bases. The result is a molecule that is more structurally stabile than natural DNA and can resist breakdowns by DNA-degrading enzymes in cells. The article explains the possible future uses of this molecular particularly in engineering. I chose this article because I thought it was really interesting how they can manipulate the structure of DNA to create a molecule that can form a double helix as well as a triple helix, which is created by replacing the regular bond with a triple bond. I did not know the structure of DNA could be rearranged to create other molecules. This discovery shows how flexible the DNA structure is; it is really fascinating. I support the idea of synthesizing DNA into other DNA-like molecules to explore the DNA structure and to customize more forms of the structure. This article relates to our learning of DNA, its bases and the basic double helix structure. The article demonstrates that the DNA structure is very flexible and is not just fixed to the general structure we are learning. The discovery of the artificial DNA could be a building framework for constructing medical and nanotechnological structures. Also it creates opportunities to construct more DNA-like molecules that has the ability to store information. ...read more.


So two strands can bind to each other if their sequences are complementary. Genes, which contain the recipes for proteins, are made of DNA. When a protein is to be made, the genetic code for that protein is transcribed from the DNA onto a single strand of RNA, called messenger RNA, which carries the recipe to the cell's protein-making machinery. Proteins then perform most functions of a cell, including activating other genes. But scientists are now finding that a lot of DNA is transcribed into RNA without leading to protein production. Rather, the RNA itself appears to be playing a role in determining which genes are active and which proteins are produced. Much attention has focused on micro-RNAs, which are short stretches of RNA, about 20 to 25 letters long. They interfere with messenger RNA, reducing protein production. More than 400 micro-RNAs have been found in the human genome, and a single micro-RNA can regulate the activity of hundreds of genes, said David P. Bartel, a biologist at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a result, Dr. Bartel said, the activity of more than half the genes in the human genome is affected by micro-RNA. "It's going to be very difficult to find a developmental process or a disease that isn't influenced by micro-RNAs," he said. ...read more.


One shortcoming of RNA interference is that it can only turn genes off. But to treat some diseases, like those in which the body makes too little of a protein, it might be desirable to turn genes on or to increase their activity levels. In one of the latest surprises in this field, scientists have found that RNA can do this too. They have discovered what they call RNA activation, or RNAa. The molecules that perform it are called either small activating RNAs (saRNA) or antigene RNAs (agRNA). "We weren't looking for it," said David Corey, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who was one of those to discover the phenomenon about two years ago. Scientists in his lab were attempting to silence genes using RNAi directed at the promoters of genes. A promoter is a region of DNA that helps activate a gene. Instead of being silenced, the genes became more active and protein production increased. Dr. Corey said it appeared that the RNA enhanced the activity of proteins that bind to the gene promoters. Whether RNA activation can be used for therapy remains to be seen. It does show, however, that the limits of RNA activity have yet to be understood. There is more to come. November 17, 2008 The Retail DNA Test This article talks about the home DNA test by 23andMe Hamilton, Anita. "The Retail DNA Test." Time. 27 Oct. 2008. 17 Nov. 2008 <http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1852747_1854493,00.html>. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Biology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Biology essays

  1. Biology Current Events

    Scientists are working on isolating the dorsal root ganglions to promote growth in one half and prevent it in the other. Research has also found that exercise is the best way to keep neural links firing by increasing the production of growth protein in the brain that supports the nerve cells and protects against the free radicals.

  2. Penicillin - its discovery, properties and uses.

    Such as since the middle ages, the use of bread with a blue mould (presumably penicillium) as a means of treating suppurating wounds was a principal of folk medicine in Europe6. Actually, early in the ancient times7, many different cultures such as the Greek, India, already used mould and also other plants to deal with infection.

  1. Should Animals have the same rights as Humans? Both animals and humans exhibit behaviours ...

    with other organisms in their environment such as those of the same species or those that might be predators or prey. This behaviour helps to ensure the survival of the offspring but does not seem to benefit the parent who is expending energy engaged in activities that do nothing to directly ensure its own survival.

  2. biology extended essay - How different diets: vegetarian, vegan and a meat centered diet ...

    seven months All my life Nine months One and a half years Nineteen months 12 00511-062 08/09 4.1.2 SURVEY RESULTS FOR VEGETARIANS Table 3 QUESTIONS: First participant Second participant Third participant Fourth participant Fifth participant HOW OLD ARE YOU? 17 19 17 18 3/4 17 What gender are you?

  1. The Effects of Salinity on Wheat Germination

    7 All seeds that have germinated are growing; the seeds that are growing in the salt water appear to have a slightly yellowish pallor.

  2. Lung Capacity Fitness Level

    versus Ex High 22.0 � > 2.31 * Medium versus High 4.93 � > 2.31 * Medium versus Ex High 13.9 � > 2.31 * High versus Ex High 2.58 � > 2.31 In Graph 2.0 the mean vital lung capacity differences between the different fitness level groups are clearly presented.

  1. IB Genetic Unit Notes

    For a female to have this condition, they must be homozygous recessive, however this is usually a fatal and the baby does not survive to be born. Haemophilic gene: Xh. Normal: XH 4.3.9: State that a human female can be homozygous or heterozygous with respect to sex-linked genes.

  2. Breast cancer. Successfully treating breast cancer means the removal of the cancer or controlling ...

    Radiation is commonly used to relieve any specific signs/uncomfortable symptoms but depending on the level of the cancer, surgery may be a part of dealing with those specific signs or symptoms. (Chemotherapy Stages) There are many different treatments for breast cancer, but each one may not be effective to every person.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work