DNA

Critical step found in DNA repair, cellular aging

Critical step found in DNA repair, cellular aging

DNA repair is essential for cell vitality, cell survival, and cancer prevention, yet cells’ ability to patch up damaged DNA declines with age for reasons not fully understood. Now, research led by scientists at Harvard Medical School (HMS) reveals a critical step in a molecular chain of events that allows cells to mend their broken DNA.

A hidden code in our DNA explains how new pieces of genes are made

A hidden code in our DNA explains how new pieces of genes are made

We’re all here because of mutations. Random changes in genes are what creates variety in a species, and this is what allows it to adapt to new environments and eventually evolve into completely new species. But most random mutations actually disrupt the functions of our genes and so are a common source of genetic diseases.

A 400-year-old shark is the latest animal discovery to reveal the secrets of long life

A 400-year-old shark is the latest animal discovery to reveal the secrets of long life

With an estimated lifespan of 400 years, the Greenland shark has just been reported to be the longest-lived vertebrate on the planet. This is only the latest of a series of recent findings that push the boundaries of animal longevity, and it raises the perennial question of what factors enable some animals to achieve what we might call extreme longevity – lifespans that can be measured in centuries.

Small changes in DNA can affect nicotine consumption

Small changes in DNA can affect nicotine consumption

Nicotine is an addictive substance and genetic factors are known to play a role in smoking behaviors. Recently, a team of researchers at Penn State and the University of Colorado determined how small differences in a particular region of the mouse genome can alter nicotine consumption.

What your father did before you were born could influence your future

What your father did before you were born could influence your future

It might not just be expectant mothers who have to pay attention to their lifestyle. Now a new study published in Science could be relevant to a growing body of research looking at ways in which the lifestyle and environment of men before they become fathers could influence the lives of their children and grandchildren.