Quiz: Gauge Your Genetics Knowledge
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2w ago
This post is part of a miniseries on genetics. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series that you may have missed. Credit: NIGMS. In our miniseries on genetics, we’ve introduced the genome and how variants in DNA affect us. We’ve also discussed how people inherit genetic information and the way genes are expressed, as well as common tools researchers use to study DNA. We hope you’ve paid close attention because it’s time to test your knowledge of genetics! Take our quiz below, and let us know how many questions you answered correctly. QUIZ START Learn more in our Educator’s Corner ..read more
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How Do Scientists Study Genes?
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
1M ago
This post is part of a miniseries on genetics. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series that you may have missed. DNA carries information needed for all cellular functions. Credit: NIGMS. You may wonder how scientists study something as tiny as DNA. Over the past decades, researchers have developed a wide range of tools and techniques to help them unlock the secrets of human genomes and those of other organisms. Two key examples are DNA sequencing and gene editing. DNA Sequencing DNA sequencing, sometimes called gene or genome sequencing, enables researchers to “read” the order of t ..read more
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How Are Physical Features and Health Conditions Inherited?
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2M ago
This post is part of a miniseries on genetics. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series that you may have missed. Have you ever been told that you have your mother’s eyes? Or maybe you’ve found that you and your father share a condition such as asthma? People who are biologically related often have similarities in appearance and health because they have some of the same genetic variants. However, you’ve likely noticed that siblings with the same biological parents can differ significantly. Each person’s genome is a combination of DNA from both of their parents, but siblings’ DNA can ..read more
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Genetics by the Numbers
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
3M ago
Even though scientists have been studying genetics since the mid-19th century, they continue to make new discoveries about genes and how they impact our health on a regular basis. NIGMS researchers study how genes are expressed and regulated, how gene variants with different “spellings” of their genetic code affect health, and much more. Get the drop on DNA and the gist of genes with these fast facts: 3.2 Billion A marbled lungfish has a genome over 40 times larger than humans. Credit: iStock. That’s how many base pairs—or sets of genetic “letters”—make up the human genome. If you were to sing ..read more
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What Is Genetics?
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
3M ago
This post is the first in our miniseries on genetics. Stay tuned for more! Genetics is the study of genes and heredity—how traits are passed from parents to children through DNA. A gene is a segment of DNA that contains instructions for building one or more molecules that help the body work. Researchers estimate that humans have about 20,000 genes, which account for about 1 percent of our DNA. The remainder of the DNA plays a role in regulating genes, and scientists are researching other potential functions. DNA Details Credit: NIGMS. DNA is shaped like a twisted ladder, called ..read more
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Advancing American Indian and Alaska Native Health Through Research, Training, and Engagement
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
1y ago
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have long experienced health disparities such as higher rates of diabetes, certain cancers, and mental health conditions than those of other Americans. One contributing factor in these disparities is underrepresentation of AI/AN populations in biomedical science—as study participants, researchers, and health professionals. Unfamiliarity with health care options and opportunities, coupled with a distrust of biomedical research resulting from unethical studies in the past, have exacerbated this underrepresentation. NIGMS-supported researchers ..read more
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Career Conversations: Q&A with Biochemist Alexis Komor
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2y ago
Dr. Alexis Komor. Credit: Michelle Fredricks. “DNA is an amazingly beautiful molecule, and it’s so important. Each of our cells has only one copy of DNA, and if it gets damaged, that messes up everything else in the cell,” says Alexis Komor, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Check out the highlights of our interview with Dr. Komor to learn about her scientific journey, research on DNA, and advice for students. Q: How did you decide to study chemistry? A: I really enjoyed math and science in middle and high school. Whe ..read more
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Hunting Disease-Causing Genetic Variants
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2y ago
Dr. Miriam Meisler. Credit: University of Michigan Medical School. “In my lab, we’ve been gene hunters—starting with visible phenotypes, or characteristics, and searching for the responsible genes,” says Miriam Meisler, Ph.D., the Myron Levine Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. During her career, Dr. Meisler has identified the functions of multiple genes and has shown how genetic variants, or mutations, can impact human health. Becoming a Scientist Dr. Meisler had a strong interest in science as a child, which she credits to “growing u ..read more
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In Other Words: How Cells Express Themselves
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2y ago
When you encounter the word expression, you may think of a smile, a grimace, or another look on someone’s face. But when biologists talk about expression, they typically mean the process of gene expression—when the information in a gene directs protein synthesis. Proteins are essential for virtually every process in the human body. Credit: NIGMS. How to Build a Protein Gene expression has two main steps: transcription and translation. In transcription, RNA polymerase separates a section of double-stranded DNA to access a gene. Then it copies the information from t ..read more
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Public Alerted to Omicron in New Mexico Through Quick Detection
Biomedical Beat Blog | Genes
by Chrissa Chverchko
2y ago
Genetic material inside a virus. Credit: iStock. Over the past 2 years, you’ve probably heard a lot about the spread of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—and the emergence of variants. The discovery and tracking of these variants is possible thanks to genomic surveillance, a technique that involves sequencing and analyzing the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles from many COVID-19 patients. Genomic surveillance has not only shed light on how SARS-CoV-2 has evolved and spread, but it has also helped public health officials decide when to introduce measures to help protect people. In D ..read more
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