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Essential cell division 'zipper' anchors to so-called junk DNA
During cell division, pairs of replicated DNA strands - called sisters - are held together by a temporary scaffold of bridging proteins. At the right moment, the proteins unzip, allowing the DNA sisters to separate. Errors in this or other steps in cell division can lead to developmental problems or cancer. Now, in a new study, important details of this system have been uncovered, including a pivotal role for certain bits of so-called junk DNA. (2002-08-28)

Plant Genetics 2003: Mechanisms of Genetic Variation
This conference on Plant Genetics will be the first of an annual series of specialist meetings sponsored by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). The focus of this meeting will be on the nature and mechanisms of genetic variation and their effects on evolution of plant form and function, as well as on plant speciation and crop domestication. (2002-06-28)

U. Va. scientists find new piece of gene expression puzzle
Scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have identified another step in the mysterious process of gene regulation -- what turns genes on or off, making them cause or suppress disease and other physical developments in humans. As reported in this week's issue of the scientific journal Nature, a chemical group called ubiquitin has been shown to lie upstream of a switch that seems to control whether a gene is on or off. (2002-06-27)

'Sloppy genes' behave like their neighbours
Groundbreaking research in Journal of Biology challenges the traditional view of how genes are controlled. Our current understanding of gene expression, the process by which proteins are made from the instructions encoded in DNA, is that it is tightly controlled so that the correct amount of each protein is produced in the right place at the right time. This new research indicates that some groups of genes that are located next to each other on chromosomes are routinely expressed together. (2002-06-18)

Optical tweezers show how DNA uncoils
By pulling individual DNA strands, biophysicists at Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts have shown how genetic information stored in structures called nucleosomes might be read. (2002-03-04)

Long-distance command sends human growth hormone into action
Penn scientists have found the mechanism for the Human Growth Hormone operates by remote control. Within the microscopic realm of cells, this activation is the equivalent of unlocking the front door of a house form seven buildings away. (2002-02-14)

New light on molecular switch that turns genes off
New research in yeast cells may have pinpointed a key enzyme in the molecular circuitry that silences genes. The new enzyme, Set2, could prove critical for helping regulate gene expression in the ordered cycle of growth and division common to all living cells that have a nucleus. Thus, it may play an important role throughout life, beginning with early development, in gene regulation. (2002-02-14)

Protein discovery tied to DNA master switch
A new cellular protein discovered by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill appears to be a crucial molecular component of a master switch that turns genes on and off. The new molecule may prove critical to the regulation of gene expression (2001-12-20)

Regulating DNA methylation
A recent discovery has shed light on the illusive mechanism whereby the addition of DNA modifications is regulated during development. Control over the addition of methyl groups is an actively pursued research topic because aberrations in DNA methylation been implicated in the process of aging and the development of various diseases, including cancer. Published in Genes & Development, scientists have discovered that a protein called Lsh is required for normal genome-wide methylation during development. (2001-11-14)

Laser technique examines movement in nucleus of living cell
By colliding two laser beams head-on, scientists at the University of Illinois can measure the movement of chromatin (tiny packets of DNA) in the nucleus of a living cell. (2001-08-29)

Wistar study offers new support for a 'histone code' theory of gene regulation
A new study by researchers at The Wistar Institute provides important experimental data to support a novel theory of gene regulation involving coordinated patterns of modifications to DNA-packaging proteins called histones. Termed a kind of (2001-08-09)

'Silent' DNA speaks up for the first time
By moderately raising the temperature of cells, biologists have broken through what was considered an impermeable barrier that kept half the genes in some cells (2001-05-15)

The silence of the clones: new link between DNA replication and 'silent' chromosome architecture
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists have demonstrated how a set of proteins work in concert to duplicate both DNA and silenced states of chromatin structure. The findings, published tomorrow in Nature, provide the first detailed mechanism to explain how both DNA sequences and their associated states of gene expression are coordinately passed on to future generations of cells. (2000-11-07)

Fox Chase Cancer Center study: some prostate cancers may be more sensitive to radiation treatment
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is more effective in tumor cells in which the DNA is structurally compact. That is the result of a new study that was presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass. on Tuesday, October 24, at 11:45 a.m. (2000-10-23)

Plant's PICKLE gene may hold clue to cancer
Purdue University biochemist Joe Ogas set out to determine why pickle-shaped swellings developed on some laboratory plant roots. Instead, he stumbled upon a biochemical on/off switch that could help researchers better understand cancer and, at the same time, develop new oil crops. (2000-09-04)

BRCA1 cancer gene plays pivotal role in DNA control complex
During the last decade, researchers have been able to link mutations in the BRCA1 gene to familial cancers. The actual mechanism involved, however, has eluded them. In a new study, scientists at The Wistar Institute report the BRCA1 protein lies at the catalytic heart of a vital DNA control complex. (2000-07-20)

UI researchers answering basic science questions about how breast cancer spreads
Findings from a University of Iowa Health Care study may explain the basic mechanisms involved in triggering the spread of breast cancer. (2000-03-13)

Programmable Cells Open Window Of Opportunity For Gene Therapy
In the fast-paced world of genetics research, work conducted in Detroit has begun to unravel the mechanism that is responsible for the direction each cell takes in its development from the generic cells of the embryo to the specific cells of each tissue. The research shows that any cell can be reprogrammed and that the reprogramming is reversible. (1999-01-28)

Chern Memorial Award Presented To Wistar Institute Postdoctoral Fellow
The Wistar Institute Training Committee has chosen Dr. Nickolai Barlev, a postdoctoral fellow working in the Wistar laboratory of Shelley Berger, Ph.D., to receive the 1998 Ching Jer Chern Memorial Award. It is given annually to the Wistar postdoctoral fellow who publishes the best scientific paper during the year. Dr. Barlev's research focuses on the improper regulation of chromatin acetylation, which may cause serious defects in gene activation and thus lead to cancer. (1998-06-09)

Transposable Elements May Have Had A Major Role In The Evolution Of Higher Organisms
A molecular biologist at the University of Georgia has proposed that transposable elements may play a crucial and central role in evolution and could be the (1998-02-09)

Telomeres and Telomerase
Telomeres & Telomerase draws together contributions from an interdisciplinary and international group of specialists concerned with research on all aspects of telomeres and telomerase. Includes discussions of the genetic structure of telomeres, and the properties, roles and expression of telomerase. Discusses the importance of telomeres and telomerase in cancer and ageing, as well as in DNA repair (1998-01-22)

New Finding Suggests "HATs" Are Key To Gene Activation Puzzle
Biologists have uncovered evidence that adds significantly to the developing picture of how genes are activated, reporting the strongest evidence yet to support the widely accepted theory that gene activation is linked to the uncoiling of the tightly would form in which DNA is ususally stored. (1996-12-27)

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