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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.
Cypher Genomics, Sequenom sign development agreement for noninvasive prenatal tests

Cypher Genomics, Sequenom sign development agreement for noninvasive prenatal tests

Cypher Genomics, Inc., the leading genome informatics company, and Sequenom, Inc., the leading molecular diagnostics company, today announced a development agreement for next generation noninvasive prenatal tests (NIPT). [More]
Study identifies gene that may become resistant to current testicular cancer treatments

Study identifies gene that may become resistant to current testicular cancer treatments

A major research study has uncovered several new genetic mutations that could drive testicular cancer - and also identified a gene which may contribute to tumours becoming resistant to current treatments. [More]
ASCB honors UTSA adjunct professor with E. B. Wilson Medal

ASCB honors UTSA adjunct professor with E. B. Wilson Medal

William Brinkley, adjunct professor of biology in the UTSA College of Sciences, was recently honored with the E. B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology. The medal, the organization's highest honor for far-reaching contributions to cell biology over a lifetime in science, was presented to Brinkley at the 54th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. [More]
Researchers gain new insight into fragile X syndrome

Researchers gain new insight into fragile X syndrome

Scientists have gained new insight into fragile X syndrome -- the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability -- by studying the case of a person without the disorder, but with two of its classic symptoms. [More]
TERT mutations may make smokers more susceptible to emphysema

TERT mutations may make smokers more susceptible to emphysema

Mutations in a gene that helps repair damaged chromosome ends may make smokers — especially female smokers — more susceptible to emphysema, according to results of a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers. [More]
Blast phase characteristics differ in TKI-, non-TKI–treated CML patients

Blast phase characteristics differ in TKI-, non-TKI–treated CML patients

Features of the blast phase, such as blast cell morphology and accompanying cytogenetic changes, vary between chronic myeloid leukaemia patients who received tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy and those treated in the pre-TKI era, research shows. [More]
PF-114 shows promise in therapy-resistant CML, Ph-positive ALL

PF-114 shows promise in therapy-resistant CML, Ph-positive ALL

PF-114, a selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is active against native and mutated forms of the BCR–ABL oncogene in Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukaemias, according to preclinical cellular and in vivo results published in Leukemia. [More]
Study finds difference between results from IHC and quantitative molecular techniques

Study finds difference between results from IHC and quantitative molecular techniques

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. Several studies using immunohistochemistry (IHC) have independently reported hyperexpression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I on pancreatic islet cells in young patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. Investigators have therefore suggested that HLA hyperexpression may be an important first step in the development of type 1 diabetes. [More]
New therapeutic approach shows potential for treating cancer

New therapeutic approach shows potential for treating cancer

Case Western Reserve researchers have identified a two-pronged therapeutic approach that shows great potential for weakening and then defeating cancer cells. [More]
Offspring of mice treated with drug had delayed onset, reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Offspring of mice treated with drug had delayed onset, reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Famine, drug abuse and even stress can "silence" certain genes, causing health problems in generations to come. Now scientists are wondering—could therapies that change gene expression in parents help their children? [More]
Chromosome X microduplications implicated in infancy-onset gigantism

Chromosome X microduplications implicated in infancy-onset gigantism

Researchers report that heritable microduplications on chromosome Xq26.3 may underlie a “striking” form of gigantism with onset in late infancy, and reveal a candidate culprit gene. [More]
Research findings may lead to new treatment strategies for Ewing sarcoma

Research findings may lead to new treatment strategies for Ewing sarcoma

The genetic abnormality that drives the bone cancer Ewing sarcoma operates through two distinct processes - both activating genes that stimulate tumor growth and suppressing those that should keep cancer from developing. These findings by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators, published in the November issue of Cancer Cell, may lead to new therapies targeting these aberrant mechanisms. [More]
Tel Aviv University study throws spotlight on gene mutation responsible for premature ovarian failure

Tel Aviv University study throws spotlight on gene mutation responsible for premature ovarian failure

Premature ovarian failure, also known as primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), affects 1% of all women worldwide. In most cases, the exact cause of the condition, which is often associated with infertility, is difficult to determine. [More]
Experts expose fundamental role of chaos and complexity in biological information processing

Experts expose fundamental role of chaos and complexity in biological information processing

The interdisciplinary approach to problems that till recently were addressed in the hermetic framework of distinct disciplines such as physics, informatics, biology or sociology constitutes today one of the most active and innovative areas of science, where fundamental issues meet problems of everyday concern. [More]
TGen uncovers way to track cause of neurological disorder in a young girl

TGen uncovers way to track cause of neurological disorder in a young girl

Using a basic genetic difference between men and women, the Translational Genomics Research Institute has uncovered a way to track down the source of a neurological disorder in a young girl. [More]
Pharmacyclics receives BayBio's 2014 Pantheon DiNA Award for Outstanding Company

Pharmacyclics receives BayBio's 2014 Pantheon DiNA Award for Outstanding Company

Pharmacyclics, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded BayBio's 2014 Pantheon DiNA Award for Outstanding Company for its rapid development and commercialization of IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib). The award was presented at BayBio's 11th Annual Pantheon DiNA Awards ceremony in San Francisco. [More]
IMBRUVICA-rituximab combination well tolerated in patients with relapsed or refractory MCL

IMBRUVICA-rituximab combination well tolerated in patients with relapsed or refractory MCL

New IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) Phase II data announced by Pharmacyclics, Inc. today demonstrates its potential utility as a combination therapy when used with rituximab. Data suggest that the overall efficacy and safety profile of IMBRUVICA is well tolerated when combined with rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). [More]
Amgen announces new data from BLINCYTO Phase 2 study for treatment of patients with ALL

Amgen announces new data from BLINCYTO Phase 2 study for treatment of patients with ALL

Amgen today announced that new data from a pivotal Phase 2 study evaluating BLINCYTO (blinatumomab) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was presented at the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. [More]
Phase 2 RESONATE-17 study: IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) improves survival in CLL patients with del 17p

Phase 2 RESONATE-17 study: IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) improves survival in CLL patients with del 17p

Results from the Phase 2 RESONATE-17 (PCYC-1117) study show IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) was associated with an 82.6 percent investigator-assessed overall response rate (ORR; the primary endpoint) and a 79 percent progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 12 months in people living with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who have a genetic mutation known as deletion 17p (del 17p). [More]
Novel targeted therapies and treatment combinations for leukemia

Novel targeted therapies and treatment combinations for leukemia

Recognizing that leukemia cannot be conquered with a "one-size-fits-all" approach, researchers are pursuing novel targeted therapies and combinations of existing treatment regimens with new agents for patient populations with historically poor prognoses, according to data presented today during the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. [More]