November 28, 2015 | Updated at 06:04 AM EST The Latest Entertainment & Celebrity News

Quadruple Helix DNA Found, May be Cure to Fighting Cancer

Scientists announced Monday the discovery of the first quadruple helix and it may help them prevent the cell replication at the root of cancer.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, EnStars on Jan 22, 2013 12:52 PM EST
facebook tweet this pin it plus
Sign Up for Newsletter
(Photo : Flickr)

Scientists announced Monday the discovery of the first quadruple helix and it may help them prevent the cell replication at the root of cancer.

The research, published in the science journal "Nature Chemistry," showed a four-stranded DNA structure that scientists named G-quadruplex. The name was given based on the chemical bases that form the DNA guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine. The G-quadruplex is said to form in DNA where guanine exists in large quantities.

By targeting the DNA chemical bases with synthetic molecules that contain them - in a sense controlling them, and preventing them from replicating their DNA and possibly blocking cell division - it may be possible to stop the spread of cancer, the research showed. The synthetic molecules could potentially block the cell proliferation at the root of tumors.

Controlling the structures is the key to fighting the disease. 

"The existence of these structures may be loaded when the cell has a certain genotype or a certain dysfunctional state," said Prof Shankar Balasubramanian from Cambridge's department of chemistry. "We need to prove that; but if that is the case, targeting them with synthetic molecules could be an interesting way of selectively targeting those cells that have this dysfunction."

The research team behind the quadruple helix discovery was led by Guilia Biffi, a researcher in Balasubramanian's lab. The team produced antibody proteins designed to track and bind to regions of human DNA that were rich in the quadruplex structure, according to BBC. The antibodies were flagged with a fluorescence marker so the place of the structures' emergence in the cell cycle could be imaged and noted by scientists. This process revealed the four-stranded DNA, which arose most frequently duing the "s-phase," where a cell copies its DNA before dividing. 

The discovery comes 60 years, exactly in February, after scientists James Watson and Francis Crick first described the double helix shape of the human DNA.  

"It's been sixty years since its structure was solved but work like this shows us that the story of DNA continues to twist and turn," said Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK. 

© 2015 Enstarz, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Latest News

Portal Turret Voice

MorpHex + Portal Turret Voice

Here is a robot that comes along with a unique sound effect voice. So unique that you would never want it to stop speaking.

Life Hack 2015

Ready-To-Go Pasta Singles

Easy to make pasta singles, all in just under 5 minutes.

when dogs and babies collide

When Dogs & Babies Collide

See this adorable reaction between dogs and babies.

COD: Black Ops 3

Michelle Rodriguez & Other Celebrities Visits Activision's 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3'

Even celebrities are hooked! Check out these celebrities who visited the studio and played 'Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3'

Black Friday History

Why Is It Called 'Black Friday'? The Origin & Story Revealed

This year’s Black Friday sale attracted well over 300 million buyers but just what made it history’s biggest bargain event?

Mom Pranks Son back

YouTube Star In Big Trouble With His Mom After Car Flip Prank

Mom had the best idea to prank back her son.

Chopping Vegetables Hack

Awesome Hack To Make Chopping Vegetables Easier

He uses rubber bands and paper towels.

Anna Duggar Updates

Anna Duggar Updates In Photos

Anna Duggar's Instagram feed says it all.

Dancing With The Stars

Bindi Irwin Wins Season 21 Of 'Dancing With The Stars'

Bindi Irwin is now the official dancing queen of 'Dancing With the Stars'

Coby Persin Money Suit Social Experiment

'Money Suit' Social Experiment By YouTube Star Coby Persin

In this social experiment, Coby Persin walked the streets of New York with a 'money suit' on and a card board saying 'take what you need'. Witness the greed by people in NYC.

Real Time Analytics