DNA

If feeling older than you look appeals to you, take a seat while you read this: A recent study found that women who sit longer than 10 hours a day, combined with low physical activity, have cells that are biologically older — eight years older to be exact — than their actual age. 

The study looked at the lifestyles of 1,500 women, between the ages of 64 and 90, who are part of a Women's Health Inititative (WHI) — a national study on chronic disease and postmenopausal women. Researchers found that women who sat for more than ten hours per day, and exercised less than 40 minutes daily, had shorter telomeres — the caps at the ends of DNA strands which protect chromosomes. Shorter...

It is common knowledge that the information that makes us unique is held in our DNA. But, how does our DNA make our eyes brown - how does it make us who we are?

In order to understand that, we have to walk through the journey of how the information held in DNA becomes protein. The process is called the 'central dogma' and it was first described by Francis Crick at an annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology in 1957 - and published one year later. It is a tenet of not only molecular biology, but all biology, and is central to all life. 

The central dogma is both simple and, at the same time, incredibly complex. There are many different players driving different complicated processes.  In its simplest form, it starts with DNA - a nucleic acid. But, DNA does...

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 2.06.17 PMWow!

It's a little too soon to celebrate, but scientists in the U.K. may have come up with a new method that could radically revolutionize early detection of cancer. It's a simple blood test that has the ability to detect cancer cells long before a biopsy can.

Since early detection is very important in the management of many cancers, once validated, this test could save plenty lives. Right now, it works beautifully that is, half the time.

Dr. Eric Lim, a consultant thoracic surgeon and senior lecturer at Imperial College in London presented these results...

DNAWhat began as a novel finding in pregnant women may now be a revolutionary breakthrough in oncology. In 1997 researchers in Hong Kong first discovered the presence of small chunks of the growing fetus s DNA circulating in the mother s blood. In eighteen years since its discovery, scientists have developed a way to detect and sequence this biomarker (named cell free fetal DNA or cffDNA) and have begun using it to determine several important characteristics of the developing fetus, such as its sex, its paternity and its chromosomal integrity. However, now researchers are moving it to a new realm: cancer screening.

Traditionally, the way...

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 1.23.54 PMIn today s New York Times, 28-year old graduate student Kira Peikoff describes her attempt to determine her risk of several diseases by having her genome analyzed by different companies. Although she is healthy, she was concerned about diseases such as coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer s and breast cancer, since these all run in her family.

So she found...