A second DNA code has been recently discovered, and this hidden code could mean big things for the way scientists study human life. This second DNA system doesn’t simply inform cells how to make life-bearing proteins, but actually “teaches” our cells to control genes, a true marvel of a discovery, UK News reveals this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.
The second DNA code adds a new twist (pardon the pun) regarding what many experts have previously thought about DNA telling cells on making proteins. This new DNA code points to the idea that our complex human bodies actually speak a pair of different languages.
These latest biological findings are recorded in the journal “Science,” and might very well have tremendous influence in the future in terms of the ways scientists use patient genomes to help understand and effectively diagnose diseases.
According to researchers, this formerly hidden second DNA code (which is essentially a genetic code discovered within deoxyribonucleic acid, the integral hereditary material that lives within almost every single cell of the human body) was “hiding” in plain sight. It is seemingly weaved into the surface material of the DNA code that scientists have long known about before — but it was so subtly made that it has since been overlooked.
Instead of protein instruction-making, this DNA system is centered on a different marvel: informing cells on how our genes are to be controlled. Though many implications may come from this breaking discovery, a major change is that DNA mutations that arrive via virus response or simply age could have specific purposes and be doing much more than researchers formerly believed.
"For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made," said lead author John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine. "It's a marvel."
"Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture," he said. "Many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously."