Researchers at the University of Luxembourg were able to accurately calculate for the first time the amount of salt which is required to do this. Z-DNA in the cell leads to loss of function and cancer.
The normal (B-form) DNA will switch to left-handed (Z-form) DNA when it is physically twisted, or when a lot of salt is added to the solution. Researchers at the University of Luxembourg were able to accurately calculate for the first time the amount of salt which is required to do this.
It has been known since the seventies that excessive salt causes DNA to reverse its twist, from a right-handed spiral to a left-handed one. DNA in the Z form is treated by our natural repair enzymes as damaged, and is therefore usually deleted from the cell. Deletion of genetic material can lead to cancer or to other problems, so the B-Z transition is no mere curiosity. However such is the complexity of the DNA molecule that a theoretical explanation which correctly predicts the amount of salt to do this has never before been found.
Dr. Josh Berryman and Professor Tanja Schilling of the University of Luxembourg have now been able to find a method of calculation which predicts this transition with unprecedented accuracy. With this success in describing the most enigmatic of molecules, the team is optimistic that they will be able to perform similar mathematical analyses for a variety of other substances.
"It will enable us to predict material properties such as melting temperatures or elasticity. And this will be done with high accuracy using our new technique. Hence, we can now design new materials and biomaterials on the computer more effectively than before," said Prof. Schilling.
Prof Schilling and Dr Berryman are physicists at the University’s Physics and Material Sciences Research Unit, which comprises a team of 50 researchers.
The paper entitled “Free Energies by Thermodynamic Integration Relative to an Exact Solution, Used to Find the Handedness-Switching Salt Concentration for DNA” was published in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.
Theory of the strong interaction verified
27.03.2015 | Forschungszentrum Juelich
Dark matter even darker than once thought
27.03.2015 | ESA/Hubble Information Centre
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
27.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
27.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
27.03.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation