Scientists Discover Sixth DNA Base?

: Biology : Nature World News

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Scientists Discover Sixth DNA Base?

By Jenna Iacurci

May 05, 2015 12:35 PM EDT

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Scientists may have discovered a sixth DNA base, changing the way we think about our genetic makeup,
according to a new study.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the main component of our genetic material, is formed by combining four
parts: A, C, G and T (adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine). These parts, or bases, of DNA combine in
thousands of possible sequences to provide the genetic variability that makes us human beings.



In the early 1980s, a fifth component was added to these four
"classic" bases, called methyl-cytosine (mC), which is derived from
cytosine. Then, in the late 1990s, mC was recognized as the main
cause of epigenetic mechanisms. Meaning, it can switch genes on
or off depending on the physiological needs of each tissue.
In recent years, researchers have studied this fifth DNA
base in more detail because it seems alterations in the mC
base contribute to the development of many human
diseases, including cancer.
Now, according to new findings published in the
journal Cell, a sixth possible DNA base may also exist.
Called methyl-adenine (mA), this potential DNA base may
also help determine the epigenome and would therefore be
key in the life of the cells.

Humans Have Genes Not
Passed Down From Our

Although scientists have known for years the existence of mA in
distantly-related bacteria - used to protect against the insertion of
genetic material from other organisms - it was believed to be a
phenomenon unique to primitive cells.


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. Thymine . Email Newsletter SUBMIT 0 Comments Print E-mail JOIN THE CONVERSATION SPACE Unusual 'Howling Zombie Stars' May be at the Milky Way's Core Hubble Witnesses the Death of Giants: Ancient Galaxies Sputter Out Is the 3D Universe Just a Hologram? Cosmic Tsunamis Bring Dead Galaxies Back to Life SCIENCE India's Mysterious Move toward Eurasia Finally Solved Domestic Anger and Abuse is More Common Among the Hungry Pluto Shows Off Possible Ice Cap as New Horizons Closes in Prehistoric Cockroaches Were Mantis-Like Monstrosities Two 'Happy' Hormone Regulators May Cause Intense Rage TECH This App Could Help Animal Shelters Stay Empty http://www. and consider what its role is. possibly leading to a rewrite of biology books. Base . "In addition it seems that mA would play a specific role in stem cells and early stages of development. Cytosine . But Esteller and his team were able to make this discovery using unique analytical methods with high sensitivity. making them difficult to study. Study Says 3 Scientists Discover Sixth DNA Base? 4 Decline of Large Herbivores Could Lead to 'Empty Landscape' 5 Nepal's Earthquake was So Intense it Changed Both Land and Air. "the challenge we face is to confirm this data and find out whether mammals. Place your ad here Loading. Tags DNA . DNA Base . genes . we also have this sixth DNA base. 06/05/2015 .natureworldnews." For more great nature science stories and general news. also present the sixth DNA base. please visit our sister site." he added. director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL). Normally.. Do not reproduce without permission. now this latest study suggests that "more complex cells called eukaryotes such as the human body cells. levels of mA in described genomes are low.. "These studies suggest that All rights reserved.." Esteller concluded. biology Page 2 of 3 MOST POPULAR 1 Massive Mississippi Floods May Have Wiped Out Ancient Civilization 2 Fjords Act as Major Carbon Sinks. Says NASA 6 Why Do Those Bugs Glow? For Some. humans .com/articles/14515/20150505/scientists-discover-sixth-. Headlines and Global News (HNGN). including humans." "Now. Bioluminescence is Just a Mistake 7 Unrecognized Species of African Elephants Face Extinction © 2015 NatureWorldNews.Scientists Discover Sixth DNA Base? : Biology : Nature World News However. said in a statement." Manel Esteller. worms and flies possess mA and it acts to regulate the expression of certain genes. thus constituting a new epigenetic mark. Adenine . Guanine . genetics .

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