If there is one cardinal truth in the gadget world, it is that products must continually change and improve to become better, faster, and sexier. Plain Xray films have evolved into digital films on my smartphone. Anoscopes have become self-propelling, self navigating, disposable colonoscopes. Now, in an effort to win the techno rat-race, plain boring old DNA has released its newest model which is sure to rock the ribonucleic acid world. Ladies and gentlemen, we introduce to you–DNA 2.0!!
Researchers believe they have found a second code in DNA in addition to the genetic code.
The genetic code specifies all the proteins that a cell makes. The second code, superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes, miniature protein spools around which the DNA is looped. The spools both protect and control access to the DNA itself.
The discovery, if confirmed, could open new insights into the higher order control of the genes, like the critical but still mysterious process by which each type of human cell is allowed to activate the genes it needs but cannot access the genes used by other types of cell.
The new code is described in the current issue of Nature by Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute in Israel and Jonathan Widom of Northwestern University in Illinois and their colleagues.
Besides being a Nobel-Prize worthy medical discovery, this will undoubtedly be added to the infinite amount of minutia that first-year medical students will memorize, regurgitate, and flush.
Read more here. . .
(hat tip: Slashdot)