Scientists discover another genetic code - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Scientists discover another genetic code

Updated: Dec 12, 2013 02:52 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Ryan Pike © iStockphoto.com / Ryan Pike

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Another code within DNA has been discovered by scientists -- a finding that the researchers say sheds light on how changes to DNA affect health.

Since the genetic code was first deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have believed it was used solely to write information about proteins. But this new study from University of Washington scientists found that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages.

One language describes how proteins are made, and the other helps direct genetic activity in cells. One language is written on top of the other, which is why this other language went undiscovered for so long, according to the report in the Dec. 13 issue of Science.

"For over 40 years, we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made," team leader Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, an associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, said in a university news release.

"Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture," he said.

This other code may be where diseases can develop, when the more complicated job of regulating how genes are expressed in cells goes awry, the study authors suggested. The finding could have a significant impact on how scientists and doctors interpret a patient's genetic code and lead to new ways to diagnose and treat health problems, the researchers said.

"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," Stamatoyannopoulos explained in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute has more about genomics.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:26 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
  • UPDATED

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:49:54 GMT
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
  • Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:38:16 GMT
    The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >>
    A man who saw a plane flown by an Indiana teen who was killed during an around-the-world flight attempt says the aircraft was flying low but didn't show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms