This may be one of the greatest turning points in the history of science. It has that faintest fragrance of the Infinite.
And if you like this post from Bruce Stephen Holmes, consider signing on to his blog. I’ve been with him for maybe a year, and it has been a wonderful trip.
Much love to you all for the Turning of the Light.
December 12, 2013
Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code
UW Health Sciences and UW Medicine
Posted under: Health and Medicine
Scientists have discovered a second code hiding within DNA. This second code contains information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.
Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopolous led a team that discovered a second code hidden in DNA.
A research team led by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, made the discovery. The findings are reported in the Dec. 13 issue of Science. The work is part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, also known as ENCODE. The National Human Genome Research Institute funded the multi-year, international effort. ENCODE aims to discover where and how the directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome.
Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write information about proteins. UW scientists were stunned to discover that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages. One describes how proteins are made, and the other instructs the cell on how genes are controlled. One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden for so long.
“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”
The genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. The UW team discovered that some codons, which they called duons, can have two meanings, one related to protein sequence, and one related to gene control. These two meanings seem to have evolved in concert with each other. The gene control instructions appear to help stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they are made.
The discovery of duons has major implications for how scientists and physicians interpret a patient’s genome and will open new doors to the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
“The fact that the genetic code can simultaneously write two kinds of information means that many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously,” said Stamatoyannopoulos.
Grants from the National Institutes of Health U54HG004592, U54HG007010, and UO1E51156 and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases FDK095678A funded the research.
In addition to Stamatoyannopoulos, the research team included Andrew B. Stergachis, Eric Haugen, Anthony Shafer, Wenqing Fu, Benjamin Vernot, Alex Reynolds, and Joshua M. Akey, all from the UW Department of Genome Sciences, Anthony Raubitschek of the UW Department of Immunology and Benaroya Research Institute, Steven Ziegler of Benaroya Research Institute, and Emily M. LeProust, formerly of Agilent Technologists and now with Twist Bioscience.
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Bruce Stephen Holms
“Nothing happens by accident. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is connected.”
“… if time travel is ever accomplished then it exists throughout time…”
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Your work is to discover your work
and then with all your heart
to give yourself to it.
Thomas Byrom, Shambhala Press
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.
I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.
I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.
I’m guessing; I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every
day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.
If you received this, it is because someone cares for you.
If you’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won’t be the last.
Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.
“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”
I don’t believe in miracles. I rely on them.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
[A present from Pip]