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Out-of-place DNA arouses the suspicion of a mammalian protein called cGAS, or cyclic GMP-AMP synthase. Although cGAS is usually as passive as a bored security guard, it leaps into action when it comes across DNA in the cell’s cytosol. Such DNA may indicate a foreign or cancerous intrusion. Curiously, the human version of cGAS has unique structural features that keep it on the lookout for long sequences. Short sequences often get a pass. The advantages of a bias against long pieces of stray DNA aren’t exactly clear. Perhaps the bias helps prevent autoimmune disorders. In any case, the structural details behind the bias could inform the development of immunotherapeutic drugs, including drugs to combat cancer. Contributing to a deeper understanding of these issues is a recent study conducted by scientists at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. These scientists have, for the first time, ...
Original Article: Human DNA Sentry Keeps Long Strands atop Watch ListNEXT ARTICLE
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...
Within medicine, nutrition (the study of food and the effect of its components on the body) has many different roles. Appropriate nutrition can help prevent certain diseases, or treat others. In critically ill patients, artificial feeding by tubes need t...