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The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Larina et al. | Nov 06, 2016

The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Heating of DNA-containing solutions is a part of many experiment protocols, but it can also cause damage and degradation of the DNA molecules, potentially leading to error in the experimental results. The authors of this paper investigate whether the presence of certain cations during heating can stabilize the DNA polymer and aid the preservation of the molecule.

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Examining the Accuracy of DNA Parentage Tests Using Computer Simulations and Known Pedigrees

Wang et al. | Jul 13, 2020

Examining the Accuracy of DNA Parentage Tests Using Computer Simulations and Known Pedigrees

How accurate are DNA parentage tests? In this study, the authors hypothesized that current parentage tests are reliable if the analysis involves only one or a few families of yellow perch fish Perca flavescens. Their results suggest that DNA parentage tests are reliable as long as the right methods are used, since these tests involve only one family in most cases, and that the results from parentage analyses of large populations can only be used as a reference.

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Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Sun et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, and its analogs have a wide range of medicinal properties, including antibacterial and anticancer effects. Here, the authors explored a library of alkyl or aryl berberine analogs to probe binding to double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA. They determined that the nature of the substituent, the position of the substituent, and the nucleic acid target affect the free energy of binding of berberine analogs to DNA and G-quadruplex DNA, however berberine analogs did not result in net stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.

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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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Can the nucleotide content of a DNA sequence predict the sequence accessibility?

Balachandran et al. | Mar 10, 2023

Can the nucleotide content of a DNA sequence predict the sequence accessibility?
Image credit: Warren Umoh

Sequence accessibility is an important factor affecting gene expression. Sequence accessibility or openness impacts the likelihood that a gene is transcribed and translated into a protein and performs functions and manifests traits. There are many potential factors that affect the accessibility of a gene. In this study, our hypothesis was that the content of nucleotides in a genetic sequence predicts its accessibility. Using a machine learning linear regression model, we studied the relationship between nucleotide content and accessibility.

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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

Zhang et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.

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