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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.
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]
Embryos with abnormalities in initial stages of pregnancy may grow into healthy babies

Embryos with abnormalities in initial stages of pregnancy may grow into healthy babies

Abnormal cells in the early embryo are not necessarily a sign that a baby will be born with a birth defect such as Down's syndrome, suggests new research carried out in mice at the University of Cambridge. In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, scientists show that abnormal cells are eliminated and replaced by healthy cells, repairing - and in many cases completely fixing - the embryo. [More]
Researchers use novel technology to sequence Y chromosome in malaria spreading mosquitoes

Researchers use novel technology to sequence Y chromosome in malaria spreading mosquitoes

A team of researchers with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, working with a large international consortium, has sequenced the Y chromosome--the genetic driver of sex-determination and male fertility-- in a family of malaria spreading mosquitoes. [More]
Shugoshin protein maintains proper gene expression in subtelomeres

Shugoshin protein maintains proper gene expression in subtelomeres

A research group discovered a new function of the chromosomal terminus, which may lead to the clarification of the mechanism for developing abnormal telomere structure such as multiple malformation and mental retardation. [More]
UT Southwestern scientists discover mutation that causes X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder

UT Southwestern scientists discover mutation that causes X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered a mutation that causes a rare systemic disorder known as X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder (XLPDR) and, significantly, the unexpected cellular mechanism by which the mutation causes the disease. [More]
SLU scientist describes several tactics that can help cells overcome lesions

SLU scientist describes several tactics that can help cells overcome lesions

In a recent review paper published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, SLU scientist Alessandro Vindigni, Ph.D., describes the strategies cells use when their DNA faces replication stress, challenges that may derail a cell's ability to reproduce. [More]
Genetic syndrome may underlie some Parkinson's cases

Genetic syndrome may underlie some Parkinson's cases

Rare deletions at chromosome 22q11.2 are present at an increased rate in patients with Parkinson's disease, researchers report in The Lancet Neurology. [More]
Study uncovers role of small RNAs in fine-tuning egg development

Study uncovers role of small RNAs in fine-tuning egg development

All multicellular organisms that reproduce sexually rely on eggs to support early life. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Ludwig Cancer Research used the tiny roundworm C. elegans as a model to better understand how eggs enable embryonic development, using only the materials already present in them. [More]
Scientists identify gene associated with cleft lip and palate

Scientists identify gene associated with cleft lip and palate

Leading scientists have identified an important gene that is associated with cleft lip and palate.Experts say the discovery is a step closer to understanding how this birth defect arises, and will help in the development of medical approaches to prevent the disfiguring condition. [More]
Virus-generated DNA lurking between human genes, show research

Virus-generated DNA lurking between human genes, show research

Think your DNA is all human? Think again. And a new discovery suggests it's even less human than scientists previously thought. [More]
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