from UniversityOfWashington Website
This second code contains information
that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA
and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.
Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos
led a team that
discovered a second code hidden in DNA.
The findings are reported in the Dec. 13
issue of Science, in the paper 'The
Hidden Codes that Shape Protein Evolution'.
ENCODE aims to discover where and how the directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome. Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write information about proteins.
UW scientists were stunned to discover that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages:
One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden for so long.
The genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons.
The UW team discovered that some codons, which they called duons, can have two meanings,
These two meanings seem to have evolved
in concert with each other. The gene control instructions appear to
help stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they
Grants from the National Institutes of
Health U54HG004592, U54HG007010, and UO1E51156 and National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases FDK095678A
funded the research.
...all from the UW Department of Genome Sciences, and,