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In the nucleus of each cell, the DNA molecule is packaged into thread-like structures called chromosomes. Each chromosome is made up of DNA tightly coiled many times around proteins called histones that support its structure.

Chromosomes are not visible in the cell’s nucleus—not even under a microscope—when the cell is not dividing. However, the DNA that makes up chromosomes becomes more tightly packed during cell division and is then visible under a microscope. Most of what researchers know about chromosomes was learned by observing chromosomes during cell division.

Each chromosome has a constriction point called the centromere, which divides the chromosome into two sections, or “arms.” The short arm of the chromosome is labeled the “p arm.” The long arm of the chromosome is labeled the “q arm.” The location of the centromere on each chromosome gives the chromosome its characteristic shape, and can be used to help describe the location of specific genes.
Amgen to present clinical data on multiple blood cancer treatments at EHA 2015

Amgen to present clinical data on multiple blood cancer treatments at EHA 2015

Amgen today announced that it will present data from multiple Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for Injection, BLINCYTO (blinatumomab), oprozomib and Nplate (romiplostim)‎ studies at the 20th Congress of the European Hematology Association taking place in Vienna, June 11 - 14, 2015. [More]
Liverpool scientists complete genomics studies on multidrug resistant Typhoid fever in Africa

Liverpool scientists complete genomics studies on multidrug resistant Typhoid fever in Africa

The team has completed two genomics studies on the tropical disease, a condition that is estimated to cause up to 30 million illnesses and over a quarter of a million deaths globally each year. [More]
Mayo Clinic scientists create mouse model of ALS, FTD caused by mutations in C9ORF72 gene

Mayo Clinic scientists create mouse model of ALS, FTD caused by mutations in C9ORF72 gene

Scientists at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida created a novel mouse that exhibits the symptoms and neurodegeneration associated with the most common genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), both of which are caused by a mutation in the a gene called C9ORF72. [More]
Researchers uncover mechanism behind common mutation that helps cancer cells replicate limitlessly

Researchers uncover mechanism behind common mutation that helps cancer cells replicate limitlessly

More than 500,000 people in the United States die each year of cancer-related causes. Now, emerging research has identified the mechanism behind one of the most common mutations that help cancer cells replicate limitlessly. [More]
Researchers discover how and where chromosome fragile sites occur in human DNA

Researchers discover how and where chromosome fragile sites occur in human DNA

Using a novel method they developed to map chromosome breaks in a model organism, the budding yeast, Wenyi Feng, Ph.D., of Upstate Medical University and her colleagues have discovered new information as to how and where chromosome fragile sites can occur in human DNA. These sites are frequently observed in cancer cells and are responsible for causing genomic rearrangements. [More]
CNIO researchers identify new strategy to combat cancer

CNIO researchers identify new strategy to combat cancer

Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have discovered a new strategy to fight cancer, which is very different from those described to date. Their work shows for the first time that telomeres -- the structures protecting the ends of the chromosomes -- may represent an effective anti-cancer target: by blocking the TRF1 gene, which is essential for the telomeres, they have shown dramatic improvements in mice with lung cancer. [More]
TGen-led study associates 'X-linked' syndromes to genetic origins

TGen-led study associates 'X-linked' syndromes to genetic origins

A study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute has for the first time matched dozens of infantile diseases and syndromes involving muscle weakness and stiff joints to their likely genetic origins. [More]
Researchers identify three genes involved in choroid plexus carcinoma

Researchers identify three genes involved in choroid plexus carcinoma

Researchers have identified three genes that play a pivotal role in the brain tumor choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC), a discovery that lays the groundwork for more effective treatment of this rare, often fatal cancer. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists led the study, which appears today in the journal Cancer Cell. [More]
MD Anderson researchers discover link between telomere degeneration and MDS

MD Anderson researchers discover link between telomere degeneration and MDS

A study revealing fresh insight about chromosome "tails" called telomeres may provide scientists with a new way to look at developing treatments or even preventing a group of blood cell disorders known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). [More]
Study highlights potential new targets for development of novel cancer therapy

Study highlights potential new targets for development of novel cancer therapy

An international consortium of scientists led by a group from the University of Leicester has announced a new advance in understanding the mechanisms of cancer and how to target it more effectively with new treatments. [More]
Scientists identify gene that causes hereditary hypertension and brachydactyly type E

Scientists identify gene that causes hereditary hypertension and brachydactyly type E

Individuals with this altered gene have hereditary hypertension (high blood pressure) and at the same time a skeletal malformation called brachydactyly type E, which is characterized by unusually short fingers and toes. The effect on blood pressure is so serious that -- if left untreated -- it most often leads to death before age fifty. [More]
Overexpression of cyclin E protein could lead to breast cancer, leukemia

Overexpression of cyclin E protein could lead to breast cancer, leukemia

A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute sheds light on the cause of some cancers, including breast cancer and leukemia. [More]
AbbVie's venetoclax granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for CLL patients with 17p deletion

AbbVie's venetoclax granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for CLL patients with 17p deletion

AbbVie today announced its investigational medicine venetoclax, an inhibitor of the B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) protein that is being developed in partnership with Genentech and Roche, has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in previously treated (relapsed/refractory) patients with the 17p deletion genetic mutation. [More]
New understanding of how Huntington's disease gene works

New understanding of how Huntington's disease gene works

Huntington's disease is caused by a mutation in the Huntington's disease gene, but it has long been a mystery why some people with the exact same mutation get the disease more severely and earlier than others. A closer look at the DNA around the Huntington's disease (HD) gene offers researchers a new understanding of how the gene is controlled and how this affects the disease. [More]
Findings provide glimmer of hope for treating diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas

Findings provide glimmer of hope for treating diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas

Using brain tumor samples collected from children in the United States and Europe, an international team of scientists found that the drug panobinostat and similar gene regulating drugs may be effective at treating diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), an aggressive and lethal form of pediatric cancer. [More]
Researchers identify potential treatment target for fragile X carriers

Researchers identify potential treatment target for fragile X carriers

Fragile X syndrome, an inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability, can have consequences even for carriers of the disorder who don't have full-blown symptoms. [More]
New method could help scientists spot source of disease-causing mutations in enhancers

New method could help scientists spot source of disease-causing mutations in enhancers

A new technique that identifies how genes are controlled could help scientists spot errors in the genetic code which trigger disease, a study suggests. [More]
Natera, LifeLabs sign new agreement for non-invasive prenatal testing in Canada

Natera, LifeLabs sign new agreement for non-invasive prenatal testing in Canada

Natera, Inc., a global leader in non-invasive genetic testing, and LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services today announced a new agreement that gives LifeLabs the rights to perform non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in Canada using Natera technology. [More]
Case Western Reserve and MIT receive $1.7 million to explore potential treatments for Down syndrome

Case Western Reserve and MIT receive $1.7 million to explore potential treatments for Down syndrome

Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropy dedicated to children's issues, renowned Down syndrome researcher Alberto Costa, MD, PhD, has taken yet another step toward making Northeast Ohio the nation's leader in exploring potential treatments of the genetic condition that affects 400,000 people in the U.S. [More]
Scientists find genetic link between autism and prodigy

Scientists find genetic link between autism and prodigy

Researchers have uncovered the first evidence of a genetic link between prodigy and autism. The scientists found that child prodigies in their sample share some of the same genetic variations with people who have autism. [More]
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