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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 show how adult learning is impaired in females using mouse models of Rett syndrome

Researchers show how adult learning is impaired in females using mouse models of Rett syndrome

Neurodevelopmental disorders like autism very likely have their origin at the dawn of life, with the emergence of inappropriate connectivity between nerve cells in the brain. [More]
Natural pre-pregnancy progesterone benefits women with history of unexplained miscarriages

Natural pre-pregnancy progesterone benefits women with history of unexplained miscarriages

Women who have had two or more unexplained miscarriages can benefit from natural progesterone treatment before pregnancy, a new a study shows. [More]
Roswell Park study provides new insights into gene mutations that can lead to cancer

Roswell Park study provides new insights into gene mutations that can lead to cancer

​Predisposition to cancer and cancer progression can result from gene mutations that cause elevated rates of genetic damage. [More]
Archaeologist discovers 800-year-old genomes from bacterial infection in Byzantine skeleton

Archaeologist discovers 800-year-old genomes from bacterial infection in Byzantine skeleton

Eight hundred years ago, in a hardscrabble farming community on the outskirts of what was once one of the fabled cities of the ancient world, Troy, a 30-year-old woman was laid to rest in a stone-lined grave. [More]
Northwestern Medicine scientists identify targeted molecular therapy that halts childhood leukemia

Northwestern Medicine scientists identify targeted molecular therapy that halts childhood leukemia

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered the genetic driver of a rare and lethal childhood leukemia and identified a targeted molecular therapy that halts the proliferation of leukemic cells. [More]
Potential drug could become first effective treatment option for Prader-Willi syndrome

Potential drug could become first effective treatment option for Prader-Willi syndrome

Duke Health researchers have identified a drug-like small molecule that, in animal experiments, appears to be an effective treatment for a genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome. [More]
Experimental drug improves survival, growth outcomes in mouse model of Prader-Willi syndrome

Experimental drug improves survival, growth outcomes in mouse model of Prader-Willi syndrome

Drugs capable of activating silenced genes improve survival and growth outcomes in a mouse model of Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare and incurable childhood disease, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. [More]
Ionis announces FDA approval of first SMA drug in the U.S for pediatric and adult patients

Ionis announces FDA approval of first SMA drug in the U.S for pediatric and adult patients

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved SPINRAZATM (nusinersen) under Priority Review for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in pediatric and adult patients. [More]
Researchers working to develop pill for inherited bleeding disorders

Researchers working to develop pill for inherited bleeding disorders

Motivated by the tribulations of hemophilia patients and their families, researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering are working to develop a pill to treat this serious inherited bleeding disorder. [More]
UC researchers uncover obesity-related protein's role in leukemia development

UC researchers uncover obesity-related protein's role in leukemia development

Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have found an obesity-associated protein's role in leukemia development and drug response which could lead to more effective therapies for the illness. [More]
Researchers find new insights into silencing of X-chromosomes in human embryos

Researchers find new insights into silencing of X-chromosomes in human embryos

Researchers have discovered new insights into how one of the two X-chromosomes is silenced during the development of female human embryos and also in lab-grown stem cells. [More]
Genes that control immune system play key role in predisposition to HPV-related tumors

Genes that control immune system play key role in predisposition to HPV-related tumors

A number of genetic variants associated with susceptibility to oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer have been described in an international study published in the journal Nature Genetics. [More]
Researchers uncover first ‘off-switches’ for better control of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing

Researchers uncover first ‘off-switches’ for better control of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing

CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is quickly revolutionizing biomedical research, but the new technology is not yet exact. The technique can inadvertently make excessive or unwanted changes in the genome and create off-target mutations, limiting safety and efficacy in therapeutic applications. [More]
GWAS identifies genomic locations linked to personality traits and psychiatric disorders

GWAS identifies genomic locations linked to personality traits and psychiatric disorders

A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies has identified six loci or regions of the human genome that are significantly linked to personality traits, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in this week's advance online publication of Nature Genetics. [More]
Scientists identify biomarkers to predict patient’s response to breast cancer treatment

Scientists identify biomarkers to predict patient’s response to breast cancer treatment

Why do some breast cancers respond to treatment while others resist it? A study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center may provide insight into this important question. [More]
Alkaloid in ayahuasca beverage triggers neurogenesis in human neural cells

Alkaloid in ayahuasca beverage triggers neurogenesis in human neural cells

Ayahuasca is a beverage that has been used for centuries by Native South-Americans. Studies suggest that it exhibits anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in humans. [More]
Study highlights requirement of protein in initiation of apoptosis in uveal melanoma

Study highlights requirement of protein in initiation of apoptosis in uveal melanoma

New research from the University of Liverpool has identified the role of a specific protein in the human body that can help prevent the survival and spread of eye cancer, by initiating cancer 'cell-suicide'. [More]
Research findings point to inherited genetic basis of ALL risk in children

Research findings point to inherited genetic basis of ALL risk in children

A late-breaking abstract being presented today during the 58th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego identifies inherited genetic mutations in the gene IKZF1 that confer a higher likelihood of developing pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). [More]
Starvation may shorten lifespans of children and male descendants, study suggests

Starvation may shorten lifespans of children and male descendants, study suggests

New Tel Aviv University research suggests that periods of fasting or starvation may significantly shorten the lifespans of both children and their male descendants. [More]
Scientists discover unique genomic changes integral to testicular cancer development

Scientists discover unique genomic changes integral to testicular cancer development

Researchers led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have identified unique genomic changes that may be integral to testicular cancer development and explain why the great majority are highly curable with chemotherapy - unlike most solid tumors. [More]
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