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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.
Balancing cellular aging and cancer risk through biotechnology

Balancing cellular aging and cancer risk through biotechnology

In a way, trying to repair age-related heart damage and trying to fight cancer are opposite problems. Your heart cells' ability to regenerate themselves and proliferate into new, young cells degrades as you get older. [More]
Understanding the workings of error correction mechanism in cell division

Understanding the workings of error correction mechanism in cell division

Cell biologists led by Thomas Maresca at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with collaborators elsewhere, report an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes. [More]
PDL BioPharma signs revenue interest assignment agreement with ARIAD Pharmaceuticals

PDL BioPharma signs revenue interest assignment agreement with ARIAD Pharmaceuticals

PDL BioPharma, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a revenue interest assignment agreement (the "Agreement") in which it has agreed to provide ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. with up to $200 million in revenue interest financing in exchange for royalties on the net revenues of Iclusig (ponatinib). [More]
Oxford Gene Technology expands portfolio of fluorescence in situ hybridisation probes

Oxford Gene Technology expands portfolio of fluorescence in situ hybridisation probes

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), The Molecular Genetics Company, is extending its portfolio of Cytocell® Pathology FISH probes with the addition of eight new probes. OGT offers the widest range of fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) probes on the market, delivering a cost-effective and reliable solution for anyone engaged in FISH. [More]
Recipients of GSA poster awards announced at 20th International C. elegans Meeting

Recipients of GSA poster awards announced at 20th International C. elegans Meeting

The Genetics Society of America and the C. elegans research community are pleased to announce the recipients of the GSA poster awards at the 20th International C. elegans Meeting, which took place at the University of California, Los Angeles, June 24-28, 2015. [More]
Study suggests potential way to predict autism or psychosis risk in children with genetic abnormality

Study suggests potential way to predict autism or psychosis risk in children with genetic abnormality

Doctors and researchers have long known that children who are missing about 60 genes on a certain chromosome are at a significantly elevated risk for developing either a disorder on the autism spectrum or psychosis — that is, any mental disorder characterized by delusions and hallucinations, including schizophrenia. But there has been no way to predict which child with the abnormality might be at risk for which disorder. [More]
Bosutinib resistance linked to ABCB1 transporter

Bosutinib resistance linked to ABCB1 transporter

Resistance to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor bosutinib may be mediated by overexpression of the efflux transporter ABCB1, scientists suggest. [More]
Rare BCR-ABL fusions highlighted in CML

Rare BCR-ABL fusions highlighted in CML

Chronic myeloid leukaemia patients with rare BCR-ABL fusions may be missed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, research suggests. [More]
Researchers find way to reverse clotting factor deficiency that triggers hemophilia A

Researchers find way to reverse clotting factor deficiency that triggers hemophilia A

Sufferers of hemophilia live in a perpetual state of stress and anxiety: their joints wear down prematurely and they have bleeding episodes that feel like they will never end. Their bodies lack the ability to make the clotting factor responsible for the coagulation of blood so any cut or bruise can turn into an emergency without immediate treatment. [More]
Study finds mechanism that identifies cause of intellectual disabilities in autism, Rett syndrome

Study finds mechanism that identifies cause of intellectual disabilities in autism, Rett syndrome

The term intellectual disability covers a large number of clinical entities, some with known cause and others of uncertain origin. For example Down syndrome is due to an extra copy of chromosome 21 and Rett syndrome is in part caused by a mutation in the control switch gene called MeCP2. [More]
BUSM investigators receive MRA's Jackie King Young Investigator Awards

BUSM investigators receive MRA's Jackie King Young Investigator Awards

Boston University School of Medicine researchers Neil Joseph Ganem, PhD and Anurag Singh, PhD, each have received the Jackie King Young Investigator Awards from the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research. Both serve as assistant professors of pharmacology & experimental therapeutics and medicine. [More]
Study stresses importance of investigating telomeres to improve diagnoses, develop treatments for many diseases

Study stresses importance of investigating telomeres to improve diagnoses, develop treatments for many diseases

Studying telomeres, the structures that protect the ends of chromosomes, has become a key issue in biology. In recent years, not only has their relation to ageing been confirmed; defective telomeres seem to be linked to more and more illnesses, including many types of cancer. [More]
Noninvasive prenatal screening could detect maternal cancer

Noninvasive prenatal screening could detect maternal cancer

A study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that genetic test results, as revealed by non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal chromosome abnormalities, may detect underlying conditions in the mother, including cancer. [More]
Researchers identify genetic abnormalities that lead to skin SCC

Researchers identify genetic abnormalities that lead to skin SCC

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin is one of the most frequent cancers in humans affecting more than half million new persons every year in the world. The transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell is caused by an accumulation of genetic abnormalities in the progeny of single cells. The spectrum of genetic anomalies found in a variety of human cancers have been described. [More]
Chromosomes play active role in animal cell division

Chromosomes play active role in animal cell division

Canadian and British researchers have discovered that chromosomes play an active role in animal cell division. This occurs at a precise stage - cytokinesis - when the cell splits into two new daughter cells. [More]
Sequenom Laboratories announces launch of MaterniT GENOME test

Sequenom Laboratories announces launch of MaterniT GENOME test

Sequenom Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sequenom, Inc., a life sciences company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products and services, announced today the upcoming launch of the MaterniT GENOME laboratory-developed test. [More]
IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) approved in Europe for treatment of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia

IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) approved in Europe for treatment of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia

Today AbbVie announced the European Commission granted marketing authorization for IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) as the first treatment option available in all 28 member states of the European Union for the treatment of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare, slow growing blood cancer, in adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line treatment for patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy. [More]
Researchers identify five recurrent fusion genes involved in acute gastritis and cancer

Researchers identify five recurrent fusion genes involved in acute gastritis and cancer

Studying the gastric cancers of 15 Southeast Asian patients, researchers at The Jackson Laboratory, the Genome Institute of Singapore and other institutions identified five recurrent fusion genes, one of which appears to lead to cellular changes involved in acute gastritis and cancer. [More]
Scientists and families to gather in The Woodlands, Texas to build up community around Christianson Syndrome

Scientists and families to gather in The Woodlands, Texas to build up community around Christianson Syndrome

It takes a committed community to develop effective treatments for a new disease. With that hope, scientists and families will come together in a Houston suburb July 30- Aug. 2 to build up the community around Christianson Syndrome, a genetic intellectual disability disorder, often associated with autistic features, first discovered 16 years ago. [More]
Breakthrough discovery could help young girls suffering from rare form of epilepsy

Breakthrough discovery could help young girls suffering from rare form of epilepsy

An international team, led by a University of Adelaide genetics expert, has made a breakthrough discovery which is expected to help thousands of young girls worldwide who are suffering from a rare yet debilitating form of epilepsy. [More]
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