46 stories tagged ‘DNA’
Scientists may soon be able to turn to one of the most powerful forces in biology — evolution — to help in their quest to develop new synthetic polymers.
In a new paper, Harvard researchers show that changes in coat color in mice are the result not of a single mutation, but of many mutations, all in a single gene. The results start to answer one of the fundamental questions about evolution: Does it proceed by huge leaps — single mutations that result in dramatic changes in an organism — or is it the result of many smaller changes over time?
For decades, scientists wondered whether there was some subtle difference between parts of the genetic code that, while different, appear to encode the same amino acid. Harvard researchers now have the answer.
Scientists at Harvard have pioneered a breakthrough technique that can reproduce an individual’s entire genome from a single cell. The development could revolutionize everything from cancer treatment, by allowing doctors to obtain a genetic fingerprint of a person’s cancer early in treatment, to prenatal testing.
Geneticist Elaine Ostrander runs a comparative-genomics lab that examines dog DNA to understand better the traits that might aid understanding of human diseases.
Most of the DNA alterations that are tied to disease do not alter protein-coding genes, but rather the “switches” that control them. Characterizing these switches is one of many goals of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project.
Research led by scientists at Harvard and University College London has shown that Native Americans arrived in three waves of migration, not one, as is commonly held and that at least one group returned home to Asia.
Research is uncovering the genetic roots of aging, peeling back the once common understanding that creatures simply “wore out” as they aged, and slowly revealing the mechanisms that control a process determined by our genes and that proceeds at different speeds for different species.
Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have figured out how to use short lengths of DNA as physical, rather than genetic, building blocks, creating letters and other shapes from the molecules in a proof of design that could one day lead to the creation of structures that, among other things, deliver drugs to disease sites.
Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer and co-founder of 23andMe, talked about growth in personal genomics in an event sponsored by the Program on Science, Technology and Society.
Scientists from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their colleagues have found a genetic marker that predicts which aggressive “triple-negative” breast cancers and certain ovarian cancers are likely to respond to platinum-based chemotherapies.
A new imaging technique, developed by Erez Lieberman-Aiden, a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows, is giving scientists their first three-dimensional view of the human genome, one that is already shedding new light on a number of what Liberman-Aiden calls the “central mysteries of biology.”
As reported in the online version of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on Feb. 5, researchers have produced 3-D images of the protein system that works to repair DNA. The images reveal that the proteins can actually alter their shape in what amounts to a genetic “pat-down,” or a way for the mechanism to identify areas of the genetic code that need repair.
Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a robotic device made from DNA that could potentially seek out specific cell targets within a complex mixture of cell types and deliver important molecular instructions, such as telling cancer cells to self-destruct or programming immune responses.
As science wrestles with the problem of how life arose on Earth, hindsight shows that seemingly intractable obstacles can have simple, even elegant solutions, said Nobel laureate Jack Szostak.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston have retraced the evolution of an unusual bacterial infection as it spread among cystic fibrosis patients by sequencing scores of samples collected during the outbreak, since contained.
Researchers have decoded the genome of an unlikely ally in the fight against cancer and aging, the naked mole rat, to find clues on why it resists the disease and lives 10 times as long as ordinary mice.
Scientists at Harvard-afilliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute have found strikingly high levels of a bacterium in colorectal cancers, a sign that it might contribute to the disease and potentially be a key to diagnosing, preventing, and treating it.
Looking at large samples, an international consortium — that included involvement by scientists at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) — has identified 10 genetic risk factors that contribute to either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and discovered strong evidence for three genes being implicated in both diseases.
An international team of researchers studying DNA patterns from modern and archaic humans has found that the Denisovans, a recently discovered hominin group, contributed genes to several populations in Asia and that modern humans settled Asia in more than one migration.
Scientists at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have successfully disrupted the function of a cancer gene involved in the formation of most human tumors by tampering with the gene’s “on” switch and growth signals, rather than targeting the gene itself.
A consortium led by scientists at the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School has constructed the world’s most detailed genetic map, built from data from 30,000 African-Americans. The researchers assert that this is the most accurate and highest resolution genetic map yet.
Harvard Medical School researchers have traced the influence of genes from sub-Saharan Africa in European, Middle Eastern, and Jewish populations, quantifying the intermingling that occurred over many generations.
During a trip to the Museum of Science, Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds and students from her freshman seminar revisited many of the issues they explored in her fall class.
RNA plays a critical role in directing the creation of proteins, but there is more to the life of an RNA molecule than simply carrying DNA’s message.
Two panel discussions, organized by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, examined the “promise and perils” of creating digital repositories of genetic records and considered the policy implications of an individual’s right to access, control, and interpret his or her own genetic data.
Harvard scientists have unveiled the most comprehensive picture to date of the full genetic blueprint of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
On a day when Harvard celebrated the accomplishments of the Human Genome Project, the Radcliffe Institute hosted a scientist whose work focuses not just on DNA, but on the mechanisms that control its expression.
Harvard President Drew Faust hosted a panel discussion on the legacy of the Human Genome Project Feb. 22 at Sanders Theatre.
The field of genomics, after revolutionizing crime fighting through DNA testing, is likely to shake the political landscape, says Jennifer Hochschild, who is researching its implications in Washington, D.C.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Human Genome Map, Harvard President Drew Faust will host a panel discussion on the project next week (Feb. 22) in Sanders Theatre.
Harvard researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified the root molecular cause of a variety of ills brought on by advanced age, including waning energy, failure of the heart and other organs, and metabolic disorder.
By comparing the DNA of modern elephants from Africa and Asia to DNA extracted from two extinct species, the woolly mammoth and the mastodon, researchers have concluded that Africa has two — not one — species of elephant. Now that we know the forest and savanna elephants are two very different animals, the forest elephant should become a bigger priority for conservation purposes.
Harvard scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have for the first time partially reversed age-related degeneration in mice, resulting in new growth of the brain and testes, improved fertility, and the return of a lost cognitive function.
An interdisciplinary group of leading Harvard geneticists and stem cell researchers has found a new genetic aspect of cell reprogramming that may ultimately help in the fine-tuning of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) into specific cell types.
Unlike previous investigations, which examined fat cells at a single static time point, this new study mapped several histone modifications throughout the course of fat cell development. With these new findings researchers now have a better understanding of normal fat cell development, and going forward, they can compare normal fat cells with fat cells in disease states.
Emre Basar seeks to understand how small interfering RNA (siRNA) can be harnessed and integrated into cells with the goal of silencing the expression of certain proteins that allow diseases like breast cancer and HIV to proliferate inside the body.
Miriah Myer, a postdoctoral fellow, is a computer scientist using technology to better model and clarify medical data.
Author Erling Norrby discusses how the Nobel Prizes for the sciences, while often awarding breakthrough efforts, also can miss pivotal findings that made a difference.
Researchers devise method to pinpoint key genetic variations under positive natural selection that may impact human health.
What, exactly, distinguishes humans from apes? It’s certainly more than just our genes, renowned anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. Hrdy, who received her A.B. in 1969 and Ph.D. in 1975 for work in Harvard’s Department of Anthropology, returned to speak on “Mothers and Others: The Origin of Emotionally Modern Humans.”
Scientists have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of the human genome, paving the way for new insights into genomic function and expanding our understanding of how cellular DNA folds at scales that dwarf the double helix.
A conversation between DNA discoverer James Watson and biologist E.O. Wilson was moderated by Robert Krulwich. They reflected on their lives and careers and talked about the future of biology at Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall at Harvard University.
“The Human Family Tree,’’ airing tomorrow on National Geographic Channel, tells us when, where, and how humanity spread from Africa across the globe.
Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) will present “Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Conversation with James D. Watson and Edward O. Wilson” on Sept. 9. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Sanders Theatre.
Researchers at Harvard and Princeton universities have taken a crucial step toward building biological computers, tiny implantable devices that can monitor the activities and characteristics of human cells. The information provided by these “molecular doctors,” constructed entirely of DNA, RNA, and proteins, could eventually revolutionize medicine by directing therapies only to diseased cells or tissues.