Related topics: cells · protein · dna · genetic material · dna sequences

The oldest Neanderthal DNA of Central-Eastern Europe

Around 100,000 years ago, the climate changed abruptly and the environment of Central-Eastern Europe shifted from forested to open steppe/taiga habitat, promoting the dispersal of wooly mammoth, wooly rhino and other cold ...

Origin of a complex life form revealed

Researchers from McGill University have revealed the steps by which two very distinct organisms—bacteria and carpenter ants—have come to depend on one another for survival to become a single complex life form. The study, ...

Rapid evolution under climate change

Certain plant species can evolve very quickly under drought conditions. This means that the modified plant traits are genetically fixed and passed on to the next generation. A research team led by Professor Katja Tielbörger ...

Binding sites for protein-making machinery

ETH Zurich researchers can predict how tightly a cell's protein synthesis machinery will bind to RNA sequences—even when dealing with many billions of different RNA sequences. This binding plays a key role in determining ...

Evolution in real-time: How bacteria adapt to their hosts

Bacteria that invade animal cells in order to multiply are widespread in nature. Some of these are pathogens of humans and animals. In the environment, they are often found inside unicellular organisms. A research team led ...

Epigenetics and cell diversity in the embryo

A research team at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has explored the role of factors in embryonic development that do not alter the sequence of DNA, but only epigenetically modify its "packaging". ...

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DNA sequence

A DNA sequence or genetic sequence is a succession of letters representing the primary structure of a real or hypothetical DNA molecule or strand, with the capacity to carry information as described by the central dogma of molecular biology.

The possible letters are A, C, G, and T, representing the four nucleotide bases of a DNA strand — adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine — covalently linked to a phosphodiester backbone. In the typical case, the sequences are printed abutting one another without gaps, as in the sequence AAAGTCTGAC, read left to right in the 5' to 3' direction. Short sequences of nucleotides are referred to as oligonucleotides and are used in a range of laboratory applications in molecular biology. With regard to biological function, a DNA sequence may be considered sense or antisense, and either coding or noncoding. DNA sequences can also contain "junk DNA."

Sequences can be derived from the biological raw material through a process called DNA sequencing.

In some special cases, letters besides A, T, C, and G are present in a sequence. These letters represent ambiguity. Of all the molecules sampled, there is more than one kind of nucleotide at that position. The rules of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) are as follows:

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