Chromosome News and Research

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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.
Genetic mutation appears to help people fight off MRSA

Genetic mutation appears to help people fight off MRSA

5 million gift will help create Edward P. Evans Center for MDS at Dana-Farber

5 million gift will help create Edward P. Evans Center for MDS at Dana-Farber

Inherited genetic tendency appears to protect people from MRSA infections

Inherited genetic tendency appears to protect people from MRSA infections

Cure for Rett Syndrome a step closer as scientists successfully reactivate 'back-up’ genes

Cure for Rett Syndrome a step closer as scientists successfully reactivate 'back-up’ genes

Biologists observe how microtubules branch in new directions in animal cells

Biologists observe how microtubules branch in new directions in animal cells

Gene coding error likely responsible for rare form of inherited 'short telomere' disease

Gene coding error likely responsible for rare form of inherited 'short telomere' disease

Salk researchers develop method to reveal epigenetic features of brain cells

Salk researchers develop method to reveal epigenetic features of brain cells

Researchers investigate how to prevent the onset of schizophrenia using mouse model

Researchers investigate how to prevent the onset of schizophrenia using mouse model

Researchers find synergistic connection between two deadly blood-clotting diseases

Researchers find synergistic connection between two deadly blood-clotting diseases

Lefthandedness genes change the way the brain develops

Lefthandedness genes change the way the brain develops

How tuberculosis progresses: genetic factors play a major role

How tuberculosis progresses: genetic factors play a major role

Large-scale study maps the genetic underpinnings of early TB progression

Large-scale study maps the genetic underpinnings of early TB progression

Researchers map uncharted area of genome using advanced imaging

Researchers map uncharted area of genome using advanced imaging

Presence of XX sex chromosomes increases risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease

Presence of XX sex chromosomes increases risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease

Large study quashes idea of “gay gene”

Large study quashes idea of “gay gene”

DNA methylation closely linked to telomere length

DNA methylation closely linked to telomere length

Sick mitochondria pollute the cells, cause telomere damage

Sick mitochondria pollute the cells, cause telomere damage

Researchers discover pivotal role for bacterial sex in evolution of mammalian microbiome

Researchers discover pivotal role for bacterial sex in evolution of mammalian microbiome

Study sheds light on emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites in Africa

Study sheds light on emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites in Africa

Scientists identify specific gene that plays key role in several psychiatric conditions

Scientists identify specific gene that plays key role in several psychiatric conditions