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At a glance, DNA is a rather simple sequence of A, G, C, T bases, but once it is packaged by histone proteins into an amalgam called chromatin, a more complex picture emerges.
Changes in how DNA interacts with histones—the proteins that package DNA—regulate many fundamental cell activities from stem cells maturing into a specific body cell type or blood cells becoming leukemic.
Life is complicated enough, so you can forgive the pioneers of DNA biology for glossing over transcriptional elongation control by RNA polymerase II, the quick and seemingly bulletproof penultimate step in the process that copies the information encoded in our DNA into protein-making instructions carried by messenger RNA.
- A serpent whose bite was fabled to produce intense thirst.