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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.
Researchers find genetic mutations linked to increased risk factor for PTSD

Researchers find genetic mutations linked to increased risk factor for PTSD

In the largest study of DNA samples from service members with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), researchers have identified genetic mutations that may be associated with an increased risk factor for PTSD. [More]
Researchers identify single RCAN1 gene responsible for onset of type 2 diabetes

Researchers identify single RCAN1 gene responsible for onset of type 2 diabetes

RESEARCHERS have identified the gene they believe is responsible for the onset of type 2 diabetes, sparking hope for treatments to prevent and possibly reverse the progressive condition. [More]
Phase 2 results of AbbVie’s venetoclax in patients with R/R CLL with 17p deletion published in The Lancet Oncology

Phase 2 results of AbbVie’s venetoclax in patients with R/R CLL with 17p deletion published in The Lancet Oncology

AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced The Lancet Oncology published results from the Phase 2, single arm, open label trial studying venetoclax in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) with 17p deletion. [More]
Two statistically significant genetic variants may be linked to increased PTSD risk in veterans

Two statistically significant genetic variants may be linked to increased PTSD risk in veterans

In a massive analysis of DNA samples from more than 13,000 U.S. soldiers, scientists have identified two statistically significant genetic variants that may be associated with an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an often serious mental illness linked to earlier exposure to a traumatic event, such as combat and an act of violence. [More]
Comprehensive genomic characterizations of ACC provide potentially better treatment options

Comprehensive genomic characterizations of ACC provide potentially better treatment options

An international team of scientists, including those at the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen), have discovered new avenues of potential treatments for a rare and deadly cancer known as Adrenocortical Carcinoma, or ACC. [More]
New mouse model reveals underlying brain changes linked to autism's social, learning problems

New mouse model reveals underlying brain changes linked to autism's social, learning problems

A new mouse model of a genetically-linked type of autism reveals more about the role of genes in the disorder and the underlying brain changes associated with autism's social and learning problems. [More]
Study highlights role of specific chromosomal deletion in cancer development, progression

Study highlights role of specific chromosomal deletion in cancer development, progression

In a typical cancer cell, up to one-quarter of the genome is lost due to large chromosomal deletions, while the concomitant loss of hundreds of genes creates vulnerabilities that are impossible to reveal through the study of individual genes. Prof. Anna Sablina and her team at VIB/KU Leuven optimized a workflow for the generation of cell lines with targeted chromosomal deletions. [More]
lncRNA in placenta may help protect unborn baby from invading pathogens

lncRNA in placenta may help protect unborn baby from invading pathogens

The human placenta is an organ unlike any other. During the course of nine months it is formed by the embryo, sustains life and then is shed. [More]
Key protein involved in mitosis helps prevent abnormal distribution of chromosomes

Key protein involved in mitosis helps prevent abnormal distribution of chromosomes

A tension-sensitive "fail safe" protein helps make sure that when our cells divide the two resulting cells inherit the normal number of chromosomes, researchers from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report today, May 5, in the journal Cell. [More]
Study reveals new cell-signaling pathway that detects chromosome missegregation

Study reveals new cell-signaling pathway that detects chromosome missegregation

A recent research study at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota is providing insight into the regulation of chromosome segregation and the mechanisms used by cells to prevent them from forming tumors. [More]
Novel spoken-language intervention could benefit children, adolescents with developmental disabilities

Novel spoken-language intervention could benefit children, adolescents with developmental disabilities

Sean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn't always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation. But a novel intervention developed by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers seems to be making a difference. [More]
Changes in chromatin structure may promote cancer

Changes in chromatin structure may promote cancer

Cancer development is a complex process involving both genetic and epigenetic changes. Genetic changes in oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes are generally considered as primary causes, since these genes may directly regulate cellular growth. In addition, it has been found that changes in epigenetic factors, through mutation or altered gene expression, may contribute to cancer development. [More]
First breakthrough in gene therapy against aging

First breakthrough in gene therapy against aging

In September 2015, then 44 year-old CEO of BioViva USA Inc. Elizabeth Parrish received two of her own company's experimental gene therapies: one to protect against loss of muscle mass with age, another to battle stem cell depletion responsible for diverse age-related diseases and infirmities. [More]
Bosutinib shows 'low' vascular, cardiac event risk profile

Bosutinib shows 'low' vascular, cardiac event risk profile

Third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor study findings suggest that bosutinib is associated with a low risk of vascular and cardiac events in patients undergoing first-line or subsequent treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia. [More]
Scientists develop CRISPRainbow to study genome structure in real time

Scientists develop CRISPRainbow to study genome structure in real time

CRISPRainbow, a new technology using CRISPR/Cas9 developed by scientists at UMass Medical School, allows researchers to tag and track up to seven different genomic locations in live cells. This labeling system, details of which were published in Nature Biotechnology, will be an invaluable tool for studying the structure of the genome in real time. [More]
Scientists map core genes involved during DNA uptake in strep bacteria

Scientists map core genes involved during DNA uptake in strep bacteria

Bacteria possess the ability to take up DNA from their environment, a skill that enables them to acquire new genes for antibiotic resistance or to escape the immune response. Scientists have now mapped the core set of genes that are consistently controlled during DNA uptake in strep bacteria, and they hope the finding will allow them to cut off the microbes' ability to survive what doctors and nature can throw at them. [More]
Novel method could help analyze GWAS results for sporadic diseases

Novel method could help analyze GWAS results for sporadic diseases

Using a novel method, Whitehead Institute researchers have determined how a non-coding mutation identified in genome-wide association studies can contribute to sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). The approach could be used to analyze GWAS results for other sporadic diseases with genetic causes, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. [More]
Additional chromosomal abnormalities prognostic for CML

Additional chromosomal abnormalities prognostic for CML

Additional chromosomal abnormalities can be used to create two prognostic groups of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia, suggests research published in Blood. [More]
Researchers determine mutations in RERE gene can cause many features linked with 1p36 deletions

Researchers determine mutations in RERE gene can cause many features linked with 1p36 deletions

One in 5,000 babies is born missing a small amount of genetic material from the tip of chromosome 1, a region called 1p36. Missing genes in the 1p36 region is a relatively common cause of intellectual disability. [More]
Putative male-determining gene discovery could help develop strategies to combat malaria

Putative male-determining gene discovery could help develop strategies to combat malaria

A group of scientists, including one from the University of California, Riverside, have discovered a long-hypothesized male determining gene in the mosquito species that carries malaria, laying the groundwork for the development of strategies that could help control the disease. [More]
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