Joined: Dec. 2002
|Quote (Richardthughes @ Feb. 05 2008,10:22)|
|Get ready for quantum woo:|
|Genetic 'telepathy'? A bizarre new property of DNA|
Scientists are reporting evidence that intact, double-stranded DNA has the “amazing” ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. And then like friends with similar interests, the bits of genetic material hangout or congregate together. The recognition — of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits — occurs in a way once regarded as impossible, the researchers suggest in a study scheduled for the Jan. 31 issue of ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B.
As I have explained on other boards:
Actually, IMO this article just shows that DNA molecules can aggregate much as do proteins.
Things like ammonium sulfate and polyethylene glycol (PEG) are often used in protein purification, and they work by excluding the protein from the bulk solvent phase. This works well for proteins, that have very different chemical properties even though their basic compositions are similar. In principle, different sequences of DNA should have different physico-chemical properties, even if they are very subtly so. The quoted study shows that, when DNA molecules are "squeezed" out of solution by PEG, they have a very slight tendency to associate with pieces of DNA with the same sequence. The tendency is very subtle (the two-fold tendency to "associate" with each other means just that the sub-phases in the PEG-excluded phase have a slight bias for one or the other of the two DNA molecules being studied) and not likely to have any relevance to real-life biological systems.