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A new ‘atlas’ of genetic influences on osteoporosis

January 10, 2019 dna 0
A ground-breaking new study has succeeded in compiling an atlas of genetic factors associated with estimated bone mineral density (BMD), one of the most clinically relevant factors in diagnosing osteoporosis. The paper identifies 518 genome-wide loci, of which 301 are newly discovered, that explain 20 percent of the genetic variance associated with osteoporosis.
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New dynamic probes for ions interacting with biomolecules

January 10, 2019 dna 0
Pairs of negatively charged phosphate groups and positive magnesium ions represent a key structural feature of DNA and RNA embedded in water. Vibrations of phosphate groups have now been established as selective probes of such contact pairs and allow for a mapping of interactions and structure on the ultrafast time scales of molecular dynamics.
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Chirality in ‘real-time’

January 10, 2019 dna 0
Distinguishing between left-handed and right-handed (‘chiral’) molecules is crucial in chemistry and the life sciences, and is commonly done using a method called circular dichroism. However, during biochemical reactions the chiral character of molecules may change. Scientists have for the first time developed a method that uses ultrashort deep-ultraviolet pulses to accurately probe such changes in real-time in (bio)molecular systems.