NSAS Idea Suggestion #19 - Charge Transfer In DNA

in nsas •  2 years ago 

In this series I propose daily ideas for new members who are interested in becoming #steemstem authors.

NSAS: New STEM Authors Support

I will post an idea a dayish (it is the goal to post daily, but again real life>steemit for now). With this idea I will include a short description about aspects you may be interested in. If you read this idea proposal, and you like it, and you want to write about it:

Go to the comments and write: "I, username, claim this idea"

Obviously "username" is where you write your own username. This is so that I know who is interested in @steemstem and science in general and I am always looking for a good read. This is honor system stuff, so please respect someone claiming an idea. Again, this is just the first step towards writing a good science post. There is more to it. Do your research, use scientific sources and try to use some proper language and attractive design.
This series will have their own hashtag #nsas, so that you can go back and sort through some of the ideas I have shared and what people made out of it. If you decide to use the idea I propose, please also include #nsas on your posts so that I can have a look at it and maybe get you connected in the steemstem group.
Please also visit @steemstem on steemit as well as on Discord. Follow the guidelines and appreciate the community. That means engage, upvote and comment until your fingers bleed.


Public domain picture - Link

I have come across something very interesting that I have never heard before - charge transfer in DNA. Basically, DNA is able to conduct electricity by pi-stacking of organic bases, which apparently resembles graphite sheets. This phenomenon has been discussed for a while, but now that it is established that DNA can conduct electricity, the focus has shiften from anserwing "if" to "why". There is one lab in particular that stands out when you read about this topic. The lab of Dr. Barton (JK Barton). She has published numerous papers about her experiments in vitro and in vivo. Many of these have been published in very popular magazines like PNAS and Biochemistry.
For this post you can read about charge transfer in DNA, the basic principles, etc. That is not the most interesting part of this idea. The thing that fascinated me was learning that charge transfer may be involved in recognition of DNA mismatches, as well as sensing of damage due to oxidative stress in addition to first steps towards triggering defense mechanisms. The principle is pretty simple. If base pairing is non-ideal, conduction is neither. Another thing Barton has investigated is communication between DNA-regulating proteins. For example, a protein can send an electron over long distances to another protein. If that transmission is hindered, the proteins could detect DNA damages. Another cool thing that was mentioned is that certain DNA damages, like guanine radicals, can lead to conduction of electrons, which then activate certain inducers by changing the oxidation state of 4Fe-4S clusters in regulatory proteins, basically turning on transcription of defense genes. I think this is a very cool topic and your chance to report something new. This will definitely broaden your horizon. This idea also lends itself to think about possible future projects.
Here are a few articles that will help you get started.

Previous Idea Suggestions:

Helpful Links

  • How To Find Scientific Sources For Free - Post
  • SteemSTEM Guidelines - Link
  • Everything You Need to Know about Uploading Images on Steemit [Tutorial & MarkDown] – Link - by @katerinaramm


As always,
Cheers @lesshorrible!

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No,"LessHorrible," I do deserve to speak out on this topic. We used various electronic peculiarities of 2-strand Vs 1-strand DNA. See Lamture

You are very welcome to speak out about this topic! In fact, I would hope you did. Cheers!