U.S. scientists have discovered a second DNA code and the finding has the scientific community buzzing. As laid out by a report from AFP via Yahoo! News on Thursday, the second DNA code suggests that the body speaks two different languages and the discovery could have important implications regarding the diagnosis of certain diseases.
This second DNA code was recently published in the U.S. journal Science and a research team headed by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, a University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, is responsible for the ground-breaking discovery.
Regarding the second DNA code, Stamatoyannopoulos gave the following statement:
“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made. Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”
“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 added.
The newly discovered second DNA genetic code is located within the body's deoxyribonucleic acid, which is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. The second DNA code was written just above the DNA genetic code that scientists had already deciphered in the 1960s.
The University of Washington reports that the second DNA code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. Researchers realized that some codons, which they called duons, can have two separate meanings, one related to protein sequence, and one related to gene control. The report reads:
"These two meanings seem to have evolved in concert with each other. The gene control instructions appear to help stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they are made.
The discovery of duons has major implications for how scientists and physicians interpret a patient’s genome and will open new doors to the diagnosis and treatment of disease."
What do you think about the second DNA code discovery? Share your thoughts about this amazing discovery in the comments section below.
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