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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 uncover molecular interaction between key proteins in cell division

Researchers uncover molecular interaction between key proteins in cell division

Researchers from Guillermo Montoya's team at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), in collaboration with Isabelle Vernos' Group from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), have uncovered the molecular interaction between TACC3 and chTOG, key proteins in forming the internal cellular framework that enables and sustains cell division. [More]
Novel treatment makes life-saving difference to young patients with Ph-like ALL

Novel treatment makes life-saving difference to young patients with Ph-like ALL

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators found that adjusting treatment based on early response to chemotherapy made a life-saving difference to young patients with an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) subtype associated with a poor outcome. [More]
Researchers explore gene expression in normal vestibular nerves, vestibular schwannomas

Researchers explore gene expression in normal vestibular nerves, vestibular schwannomas

Researchers from the University of Toronto, directed by Drs. Gelareh Zadeh and Boris Krischek, investigated gene expression in normal vestibular nerves and vestibular schwannomas (VSs). [More]
MIT engineers find new strategy to combat superbugs

MIT engineers find new strategy to combat superbugs

In recent years, new strains of bacteria have emerged that resist even the most powerful antibiotics. Each year, these superbugs, including drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and staphylococcus, infect more than 2 million people nationwide, and kill at least 23,000. Despite the urgent need for new treatments, scientists have discovered very few new classes of antibiotics in the past decade. [More]
Research findings provide more details about earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease

Research findings provide more details about earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease

The link between a protein typically associated with Alzheimer's disease and its impact on memory and cognition may not be as clear as once thought, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center. [More]
Jacobsen syndrome linked to autism, find UCSD and SDSU researchers

Jacobsen syndrome linked to autism, find UCSD and SDSU researchers

A rare genetic disorder known as Jacobsen syndrome has been linked with autism, according to a recent joint investigation by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. In addition to suggesting better treatment options for people with Jacobsen syndrome, the finding also offers more clues into the genetic underpinnings of autism. [More]
Study uncovers new genetic risk factor for deadly skin cancer

Study uncovers new genetic risk factor for deadly skin cancer

Buffers that guard against damage to the ends of chromosomes could hold the key to a better understanding of malignant melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - according to new research from the University of Leeds. [More]
Reproductive cell division has mechanical safeguard against chromosome sorting errors

Reproductive cell division has mechanical safeguard against chromosome sorting errors

Reproductive cell division has evolved a simple, mechanical solution to avoid chromosome sorting errors, researchers report in the Sept. 11 Science Express. [More]
New project aims at delivering innovative test to improve safety of chemical products, drugs

New project aims at delivering innovative test to improve safety of chemical products, drugs

The Genotrace project, combining targeted research and technology transfer, aims at delivering an innovative test to improve the safety of chemical products, drugs, human and animal food and the environment. [More]
Researchers identify non-protein-coding RNA whose expression linked to ovarian cancer

Researchers identify non-protein-coding RNA whose expression linked to ovarian cancer

Over the years researchers have made tremendous strides in the understanding and treatment of cancer by searching genomes for links between genetic alterations and disease. [More]
Researchers unravel molecular mechanism of mRNA recognition

Researchers unravel molecular mechanism of mRNA recognition

The information encoded in our genes is translated into proteins, which ultimately mediate biological functions in an organism. [More]
DNA regions that contained telomeres generate RNAs

DNA regions that contained telomeres generate RNAs

RNA is one of the most primitive molecules associated with life that has awakened most interest over the last decade; a sister molecule to cellular DNA from which it originates via a process called transcription. [More]
Researchers reveal how alteration of single nucleotide could initiate fragile X syndrome

Researchers reveal how alteration of single nucleotide could initiate fragile X syndrome

Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide—the basic building block of DNA—could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. The study appears in The Journal of Cell Biology. [More]
Minnesota researchers develop animal research model for FSHD

Minnesota researchers develop animal research model for FSHD

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed an animal research model for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) to be used for muscle regeneration research as well as studies of the effectiveness of potential therapies for FSHD. [More]
Study examines national impact of newborn screening test for SCID

Study examines national impact of newborn screening test for SCID

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a potentially life-threatening, but treatable, disorder affecting infants, is twice as common as previously believed, according to a new study that is the first to examine the national impact of this newborn screening test. [More]
Hippo pathway identifies and prevents progression of abnormal cells into cancer

Hippo pathway identifies and prevents progression of abnormal cells into cancer

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine report that a tumor suppressor pathway, called the Hippo pathway, is responsible for sensing abnormal chromosome numbers in cells and triggering cell cycle arrest, thus preventing progression into cancer. [More]
Human genetics expert wins 2014 Basser Global Prize for BRCA-related research

Human genetics expert wins 2014 Basser Global Prize for BRCA-related research

Twenty years after the first identification of the BRCA1 gene, the University of Pennsylvania's Basser Research Center for BRCA will honor the geneticist credited with its founding with the second annual Basser Global Prize. [More]
Avillion initiates BOSULIF Phase 3 trial in patients with chronic phase Ph+ CML

Avillion initiates BOSULIF Phase 3 trial in patients with chronic phase Ph+ CML

Avillion LLP, a co-developer of late-stage pharmaceutical assets, announces that the first patients have been dosed in the United States in a global Phase 3 clinical trial called "BFORE," which is designed to assess the effectiveness and safety of BOSULIF (bosutinib) as a first-line treatment for patients with chronic phase Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The first patient was dosed on July 22, 2014. [More]
Scientists identify mechanism by which inherited neurological disease causes muscle weakness in men

Scientists identify mechanism by which inherited neurological disease causes muscle weakness in men

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the mechanism by which a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease causes often crippling muscle weakness in men, in addition to reduced fertility. [More]
Scientists solve key mystery in cancer research

Scientists solve key mystery in cancer research

A chance meeting between two leading UK and US scientists could have finally helped solve a key mystery in cancer research. [More]