Toxic DNA: a model for all domains of life


  • Prof David Grainger

    University of Birmingham

Project summary

Soon after the emergence of life on our planet, DNA became the method of choice for passing information between generations. DNA is found in all cell types and its universal nature means that certain biological principles are true throughout life. We argue that the tendency of certain DNA sequences to poison cells is one such principle. 

We think that toxic DNA exerts its effect by corrupting the accurate ‘reading’ of the DNA code. We want to understand the consequences of this and the adaptations that cells undergo in response. 

Our findings will have implications for processes as diverse as the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the development of cancer in humans.