Science Daily: 'Do genes express themselves through poetry?'

May 12, 2016
DNA strand

An article in Science Daily cites a study on genomes by researchers including Clark University's Jacqueline Dresch, assistant professor of mathematics.

An excerpt:

“A new study from Michigan State University makes inroads in learning to read the genome, a key goal of modern biology. The results, published in eLife, show that the DNA content of our genomes resembles a complex biological language, composed of coding regions and regulatory regions. Although protein-coding regions in DNA could be compared to a traffic signal — utilizing a simple stop or go message — the regulatory regions in DNA are more like poetry.

"'The regulatory sites in DNA operate like a light switch to turn a gene on and off. In animals, it's extremely complex,' said David Arnosti, MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and the paper's lead author. 'There might be hundreds of protein factors in the cell that bind to the gene and impact activity. And there might be hundreds of binding places.'

"He compares the 'language' used in these regulatory sites to poetry.

"Arnosti conducted the study with Rupinder Sayal, now assistant professor of biochemistry at DAV University (India); Jacqueline Dresch, now [assistant] professor of mathematics at Clark University; and Irina Pushel, now a pre-doctoral researcher at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.”

This story also ran on Phys.org, EurekAlert and MSU Today (Michigan State University).