Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Radioactivity muddles the alphabet of DNA: Curtin University researchers have shown natural radioactivity within DNA can alter chemical compounds, providing a new pathway for genetic mutation

Abstract:
The research, recently published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-General Subjects, for the first time looked at natural radioactivity within human DNA on the atomic-scale.

Radioactivity muddles the alphabet of DNA: Curtin University researchers have shown natural radioactivity within DNA can alter chemical compounds, providing a new pathway for genetic mutation

Perth, Australia | Posted on December 17th, 2013

While radioactivity occurs naturally in our bodies as well as in every living organism across the planet, it was never before thought to affect our DNA in such a direct way.

Using high-performance computers, the research team from Curtin and Los Alamos National Laboratory were able to show radioactivity could alter molecular structures which encode genetic information, creating new molecules that do not belong to the four-letter alphabet of DNA.

Professor Nigel Marks from Curtin's Discipline of Physics and Astronomy and Curtin's Nanochemistry Research Institute said the new molecules may well generate mutations by confusing the replication mechanisms in DNA.

"This work takes an entirely new direction on research into natural radioactivity in biology and raises important questions about genetic mutation," Professor Marks said.

"We have discovered a subtle process that could easily be overlooked by the standard cell repair mechanisms in the body, potentially creating a new pathway for mutations to occur."

Professor Marks said the work was both exciting and unexpected, emerging as a spin-off from an Australian Research Council funded project on nuclear waste.

"As part of the project between Curtin and Los Alamos we developed a suite of computational tools to examine deliberate radioactivity in crystalline solids, only to later realise that the same methods could be applied to natural radioactivity in molecules," he said.

"This direction was an unplanned outcome of our research program - just the way blue skies research should be."

The natural radioactivity in focus involved the decay of carbon atoms, Carbon-14, turning into nitrogen atoms, Nitrogen-14.

Professor Marks said this was one of the most abundant forms of radioactive decay occurring in biological systems. Over a human lifetime, around 50 billion Carbon-14 decays occur within our DNA.

"While it is still not obvious how DNA replication is affected by the presence of chemical compounds that are different to the four-letter alphabet of DNA, it is quite remarkable to consider that Carbon-14 could be a source of genetic mutation that would be impossible to avoid due to the universal presence of radiocarbon in the environment," Professor Marks said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Megan Meates

61-892-664-241

Copyright © Curtin University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The research paper, Carbon-14 decay as a source of non-canonical bases in DNA, is available at:

Related News Press

News and information

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

Harris & Harris Group Announces the Filing of Preliminary Proxy Materials Detailing Its Proposed Conversion From a BDC to a Registered Closed-End Fund January 24th, 2017

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

Imaging

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Laboratories

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

NIST physicists 'squeeze' light to cool microscopic drum below quantum limit January 12th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

The speed limit for intra-chip communications in microprocessors of the future January 23rd, 2017

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Discoveries

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

The speed limit for intra-chip communications in microprocessors of the future January 23rd, 2017

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

Announcements

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

Harris & Harris Group Announces the Filing of Preliminary Proxy Materials Detailing Its Proposed Conversion From a BDC to a Registered Closed-End Fund January 24th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

The speed limit for intra-chip communications in microprocessors of the future January 23rd, 2017

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

Tools

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project