Researchers from the group of Marvin Tanenbaum at the Hubrecht Institute have shown that translation of the genetic information stored in our DNA is much more complex than previously thought. This discovery was made by developing a type of advanced microscopy that directly visualizes the translation of the genetic code in a living cell. Their study is published in the scientific journal Cell on June 6th. Paper.(open access) – Sanne Boersma, Deepak Khuperkar, Bram M.P. Verhagen, Stijn Sonneveld, Jonathan B. Grimm, Luke D. Lavis, Marvin E. Tanenbaum. Multi-Color Single-Molecule Imaging Uncovers Extensive Heterogeneity in mRNA Decoding. Cell, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.001 More.
We keep learning about a variety of life forms that they are “more complex than expected.” So why do we keep expecting them to be simpler?
How be we turn it around and say: Such-and-so features layers on layers of complexity, as we expected.
Is there an agenda that would not be well-served by such an admission?
From the story:
The researchers discovered that out-of-frame translation happens surprisingly frequently. In extreme cases, almost half of all the proteins that were built, used a different reading frame or code than the expected code. These surprising findings show that the genetic information stored in our DNA is far more complex than previously thought. Based on the new study, our DNA likely encodes thousands of previously unknown proteins with unknown functions. Sanne Boersma: “Because of our study, we can now ask very important questions: what do all these new proteins do? Do they have important functions in our body or are they waste side-products of translation that can damage our cells?”
Based on recent history, which way would you place your bet? Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!
See also: Clusters of human body cells have different genomes Remember the Selfish Gene? Aw, he was just playin’ you guys. You didn’t fall for that, did you?
Researchers’ new find: Liver, pancreas cells are generally as old as the brain If the vast majority of liver cells are as old as the animal, being kind to the liver may be a key to longevity. It will be interesting to see whether epigenetic changes affect new cells or old cells more.
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