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Latest Histone Stories

2009-12-20 12:34:09

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have determined the structures of two enzymes that customize histones, the spool-like proteins around which DNA coils inside the cell. The structures provide insight into how DNA's packaging is just as important and intricate as the information in the DNA itself, and how these enzymes are part of a system of inspectors making sure the packaging is in order. The results are published online this week in the journal Nature Structural and...

2009-11-20 12:11:29

A team led by Penn State's Ross Hardison, T. Ming Chu Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has taken a large step toward unraveling how regulatory proteins control the production of gene products during development and growth. Working with collaborators including Drs. Mitchell Weiss and Gerd Blobel at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, they focused specifically on the complex process of producing red blood cells (erythrocytes). These cells contain large amounts of hemoglobin, a...

2009-11-19 10:11:39

A team of Princeton biologists and engineers has dramatically improved the speed and accuracy of measuring an enigmatic set of proteins that influences almost every aspect of how cells and tissues function. The new method offers a long-sought tool for studying stem cells, cancer and other problems of fundamental importance to biology and medicine. The research allows scientists an unprecedented look at a special class of proteins called histones, which are at the core of every chromosome and...

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2009-11-03 09:22:27

The search for the holy grail of regenerative medicine"”the ability to "grow back" a perfect body part when one is lost to injury or disease"”has been under way for years, yet the steps involved in this seemingly magic process are still poorly understood. Now researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an essential cellular pathway in zebrafish that paves the way for limb regeneration by unlocking gene expression patterns last seen during embryonic...

2009-10-22 14:37:51

A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a key player in a molecular process essential for DNA replication within cells. The new findings highlight a protein called FLASH, already shown to play a role in initiating apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis is a normal biochemical response that occurs when a cell is damaged beyond repair after viral infection or accumulation of mutations that could lead to uncontrolled cellular proliferation, or cancer....

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2009-10-15 06:25:00

Despite the fact that the human genome sequence lists nearly every single DNA base of the roughly 3 billion bases that make up a human genome, it has remained a biological mystery as to how its function is regulated. Now, scientists from the Salk Institute have revealed the first detailed map of the human epigenome, which is the network of chemical switches that regulates activation of human genes. The human genome was decoded almost 10 years ago, which plainly showed the building blocks of...

2009-10-08 09:14:21

College of Medicine discovery may lead to better ways to fight cancer A Florida State University College of Medicine researcher has solved a century-old mystery about proteins that play a vital role in the transfer of the human genetic code from one cell to another. The discovery could lead to finding new ways to help the body fight a variety of diseases, including cancer. For more than a hundred years, the best scientific evidence supported a belief that histones -- responsible for packaging...

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2009-10-01 09:29:26

EMBL scientists discover a new way to read the histone code by studying streamlined sperm In the quest for speed, olympic swimmers shave themselves or squeeze into high-tech super-suits. In the body, sperm are the only cells that swim and, as speed is crucial to fertility, have developed their own ways to become exceptionally streamlined. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Grenoble, the Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) and the Institut...

2009-09-28 12:17:39

The Stowers Institute's Gerton Lab has provided new evidence to clarify the structure of nucleosomes containing Cse4, a centromere-specific histone protein required for proper kinetochore function, which plays a critical role in the process of mitosis. The work, conducted in yeast cells, was published in the most recent issue of Molecular Cell. The centromeric nucleosome acts as a guide for the position of the kinetochore. The kinetochore attaches the chromosome to a microtubule for...

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2009-08-24 08:21:19

Mitotic release of chromatin-binding RNA gives insight into X chromosome silencing Early in development, mammalian female cells counteract their double dose of X chromosomes by coating one of them with a large RNA named XIST. The RNA binds to the same X chromosome from which it is transcribed and initiates a series of events leading to the chromosome's permanent silencing. In the August 24, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, Hall et al. exploit the fact that XIST temporarily...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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