Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New calculations solve an old problem with DNA

21.12.2012
In a recent publication, researchers achieved new accuracy in the ability to measure energy differences between states of molecules, thus predicting which states will be observed: 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. 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.
Josh Berryman

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.

... more about:
»B-form »DNA »DNA molecule »Z-form »energy differences

"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.

Britta Schlüter | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni.lu
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ct3005968

Further reports about: B-form DNA DNA molecule Z-form energy differences

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision
24.11.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond
23.11.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

A huge hydrogen generator at the Earth's core-mantle boundary

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>