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Everything posted by Helix

  1. Okay, I mis-remembered that. But tRNA does get translated, it is the intermediate.
  2. One word: hybrids. If one would combine Marburg or Ebola with the flu....that would be devastating. It would realistically kill almost all people, not just the "enemy." But if you would want to do that, hybrids are the way to go. Combine all the "best" traits to create a monster.
  3. Yeah he was in PopSci a few months ago and I really didn't believe his claims but it was still interesting.
  4. I was researching rRNA and tRNA when I stumbled an other kind of RNA: snRNA. It appears snRNA's have a role in maintaining telomeres, the terminal repeats at the ends of our chromosomes. Can anyone tell me more about snRNA. I am doing a research project on telomeres and knowing the presice function of snRNA would be good. Obviously I am searching on my own, but if anyone has knowledge I would appreicate knowing it. link: http://www.biochem.uwo.ca/meds/medna/snRNA.html
  5. Telomeres. I love them and they have their hand in many biological processes. Like this one. Aging is dependant on many pathways but one important way stands out: telomeric length. Telomeres that stay perpetually long can cause a cell not to die and therefore maybe extend that right to a human. It is still being hottly contested, so who knows?
  6. Helix

    A question

    And think of the practical issues: can we really modify 100's of genes in several pathways without harming another pathway? And Mokele brought up a great point: some of these features happen in development. Is it possible to add them post-development? I think it would be pretty hard. And even if you have a wing it might be too small (as someone also said) or it might be incredibly hard to learn to fly. Humans are conditioned not to know how to fly because...well....we can't. So learning something that evolution has programmed "no, you can't do it" for millions of years would be tough. In any case, flying to work would be neat.
  7. Right, I saw that. But tRNA and rRNA play similar roles as far as having DNA sequences that eventually get sequenced. Quote from a biochemistry website: "tRNA is the information adapter molecule. It is the direct interface between amino-acid sequence of a protein and the information in DNA. Therefore it decodes the information in DNA." And rRNA is the "machinery" so it has to, by nature of its role, be translated (translated meaning its DNA or RNA sequence being made into amino acids). Another quote: "Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is a component of the ribosomes, the protein synthetic factories in the cell."
  8. Biotechnolgy as well. Drugs are the money mine these days. But I hope most of us aren't in it for the money. I do biology because I love it.
  9. Something I'd like to add: it also depends on your discipline. Physicists will have different answers than biologists. Personal exposure to different branches of science must be taken into account.
  10. responding to the two previous posts: dammit you're right donkey, how could that evade me? in any case i think it's granted what I meant. NPK--What i ment was that mRNA gets translated to the effect that the DNA sequence is contains is created into a protein. mRNA is the vehicle for translation, so by that process it does indeed get translated. I think you're missing the point that I am now speaking generally but specifically to what happens--mRNA gets translated.
  11. Helix

    Triple-helix DNA?

    Yeah i noticed my gaff about 20 minutes ago while thinking about oglionucliotides. Which brings me to: yes that is correct to the point of "before conjunction." I think after the triple helix is created it keeps the name. At least, I was getting at the oglionucliotides function, which answers the inital question.
  12. Right but maybe controlled greenhouses. You see the thing about progress, especially scientific, is it makes us challenge the current ways we do things. So maybe greenhouse based agriculture is the way things will go, who know? But you are right in that there are risks, thats a given. My only point is the pros outweigh the cons.
  13. You're right, my bad. I was speaking generally, but in biology there are always exceptions.
  14. yes but how would the plants escape? walking? As long as they are kept secure, everything should be alright (but knowing the gov't, you're right all hell would break lose) But "the wilderness of grapes" theory is a bit exagerrated. I mean the Inuits would notice it beginning and destory them. Or maybe the grapes would bring new industy to Alaska.
  15. Moles are actually benign tumors, they are a group of mutant cells. Moles differ from cancer in that they don't make the leap to malignancy or metastasis (they don't spread). So moles are a form of tumor, they just are a benign tumor.
  16. Well if it's the same gene then the protein should obviously be the same, excluding the chance of a mis-fold. Protein "X" will have the same general function anywhere due to the fact it's the same protein no matter where it is. It might preform a slightly different task in different parts of the body, i.e. clean up different things. But maybe the gene is read differenly in different parts, maybe it is only partially expressed. Then who knows.
  17. Well I'm in highschool but I already know my career and am starting it. I am facinated by gentics and microbiology so i am going into the field to biolog- specifically genetic diseases (cancer to be ulta-specific). I didn't choose it, it really chose me. I got interested in cellular biology and from there sort of narrowed my interests.
  18. Well if you can get a 1600 on your SATs and still get rejected, then who gets in? Nobel laureates? Sounds like admission is more political than academic.
  19. Helix

    Triple-helix DNA?

    Yes triple helix can, and does, exist. It is akin to adding half a ladder to a whole one. In fact oglionucliotides, the name for triple helixes, are being used extensively in anti-cancer therapys. Because a triple helix cannot be copied, scientists are trying to turn the mRNA of mutant genes into a triple helix in order to silence it. Also has some bearing to iRNA and siRNA, a biological mechinism that silences mRNA that is overexpressed.
  20. tRNA and mRNA do get transcripted. They are step 2 in transcription. 1--DNA is copied and converted to mRNA 2--mRNA (messengerRNA) goes to ribosomes 3--protein created based on mRNA message. mRNA does get transcriped. It is the courrier that takes the DNA to get copied.
  21. Yes but I can tell you right now that this isn't the first time crops have been genetically altered. Farmers have been "selectively breeding" crops (and animals) for thousands of years. Their work is the primary reason genetics, especially mendelian gentics, was discovered. Selective breeding is the simplest way of genetic altering and hasn't caused health problems. And think what GM really is-- inserting genes from one organism to another. Welll if tomatos and potatos are healthy, then why wouldn't a tomoato that grew in the ground? People seem to think this is the first time humans have ventured into the realm of GM but that's not true. And bacis logic shows that there wouldn't be too many problems. Maybe some, but not enough to outweigh the pro's.
  22. Here's my thoughts, why should we suddenly halt the march of progress because people are afraid? Should we abandon fire because you can be burned; no. Should we outlaw cars because they're dangerous; only for some (joke). Why should this advance cause a stall? People, all advances are a risk. They're, by their nature, breaking the status quo. We need to take the risk and think to ourselves, the advantages outweigh the risks. P.S. Don't take it that I am a supporter of big business, i.e. biotech. I am not a republican, actually the opposite. I just think advances cannot, and will not, be impeded by those scared of the future.
  23. Helix

    Why do we age?

    I think this was said, but in a "one-word" context. The answer is in fact telomeres. For all non-biology people, telomeres are the ends of DNA that act as caps (it's an overused analogy, I know) to protect DNA and also protect DNA from getting cut down due to the "end-replication problem." Basically, it means that DNA will get progressively shorter each round of division. Telomeres are the caps that protect the actual coding DNA from being cut down, it's sort of a sacrificial peice of DNA. How does this relate to aging? Well a cell will only die of natural causes when its telomeres run out. Annnnddd there's an enzyme of considerable interest, telomerase, that exists in some cells and whose function is to lengthen telomeres. See the connection? Theoretically, introduce telomerase to cells and viola, immortality. But nothing is simple in nature. I was over simplifing things by saying cells only die naturally due to short telomeres. Actually there are a few less major pathways to senescene (cell death). So it works in theory and who knows? Maybe some day there can be Fountains of Youth based on this magical little enzyme....but I doubt it. And knowing humans, if we do manage it, we'll just over-use it and somehow manage to screw somthing up ...but at least we're lovable. **Side note: telomerase has considerable anti-cancer potential since cancer cells use telomerase to be immortal. That's right, cancer's secret: telomerase. Without it cancer cells are boring normal cells and aren't really harmfull. (Yes, there is the ALT pathway and possible ALT1 and 2 etc. but they are the vast minority.) edit: my avatar is actually a picture of telomeres...i'm into them. Will
  24. I am only a high school student but I have heard, and would guess, that extracurriculars would count towards an acceptance from M.I.T. If physics is your passion then try to volunteer at a physics lab (if you haven't done so). That's my two cents. Will
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