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.
Discovery of gene that causes a rare juvenile-onset form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Discovery of gene that causes a rare juvenile-onset form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Catalogue of the 30,000 or so genes that contain the instructions to make a human or a mouse

Catalogue of the 30,000 or so genes that contain the instructions to make a human or a mouse

Genes account for approximately 30 percent of longevity in humans

Genes account for approximately 30 percent of longevity in humans

Paclitaxel analog kills more cancer cells than natural product

Paclitaxel analog kills more cancer cells than natural product

New gene found in genetic wasteland

New gene found in genetic wasteland

Geneticists determine the lack of chromosomes

Geneticists determine the lack of chromosomes

Significance of the discovery of anthrax toxin genes in a naturally occurring microbe other than Bacillus anthracis

Significance of the discovery of anthrax toxin genes in a naturally occurring microbe other than Bacillus anthracis

Genetic link between hormones and migraine

Genetic link between hormones and migraine

Proteins transform DNA into molecular velcro

Proteins transform DNA into molecular velcro

Breakthrough in gene therapy

Breakthrough in gene therapy

Fibroid tumors lack crucial structural protein

Fibroid tumors lack crucial structural protein

Bone marrow stem cells exposed to damaged liver tissue quickly convert into healthy liver cells

Bone marrow stem cells exposed to damaged liver tissue quickly convert into healthy liver cells

Fibroid tumors affecting many American women lack a key protein helps hold tissues together

Fibroid tumors affecting many American women lack a key protein helps hold tissues together

How we pass our genes to our children

How we pass our genes to our children

Cellular garbage plays a key role in the process of cytokinesis, or cell division

Cellular garbage plays a key role in the process of cytokinesis, or cell division

Evidence that abnormally short telomeres play a role in the early development of cancer

Evidence that abnormally short telomeres play a role in the early development of cancer

A higher male susceptibility to disease has helped shape the evolution of social insect behavior

A higher male susceptibility to disease has helped shape the evolution of social insect behavior

Researchers have identified the first gene linked to the productivity of the stem cells that produce sperm in mammals

Researchers have identified the first gene linked to the productivity of the stem cells that produce sperm in mammals

Genome research sheds light on Bardet-Biedl syndrome

Genome research sheds light on Bardet-Biedl syndrome

Scientists believe that the dog genome holds a wealth of information that will benefit human health

Scientists believe that the dog genome holds a wealth of information that will benefit human health