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Latest Prometaphase Stories

2014-01-02 10:18:09

New research by scientists at the University of Exeter has shown that cells demonstrate remarkable flexibility and versatility when it comes to how they divide - a finding with potential links to the underlying causes of many cancers. The study, published today in Developmental Cell, describes a number of routes to the formation of a microtubule spindle – the tracks along which DNA moves when a cell divides in order to make two genetically identical cells. In order to understand the...

2012-04-26 23:57:54

Quantitative research shows key organelle of cell division to be more complex than previously thought The mitotic spindle, an apparatus that segregates chromosomes during cell division, may be more complex than the standard textbook picture suggests, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The researchers used a femtosecond laser to slice through the strands of the organelle and then performed a mathematical analysis to infer the...

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2011-08-18 13:48:11

When an egg cell is being formed, the cellular machinery which separates chromosomes is extremely imprecise at fishing them out of the cell's interior, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have discovered. The unexpected degree of trial-and-error involved in this process could explain why errors in the number of chromosomes in the egg cell are the leading cause of miscarriages and severe congenital diseases such as trisomies like Down's...

2011-04-28 21:19:59

FINDINGS: Whitehead Institute scientists report that two proteins once thought to have only supporting roles, are the true "stars" of the kinetochore assembly process in human cells. RELEVANCE: The kinetochore is vital to proper DNA distribution during cell division. This finding suggests that scientists may be able to stimulate kinetochore assembly in a process that could lead to new genetic research tools, such as efficient creation of artificial human chromosomes. Widespread use of...

2010-11-25 22:08:47

Accurate gene distribution during cell division depends on stable set-up Scientists have discovered an amazingly simple way that cells stabilize their machinery for forcing apart chromosomes. Their findings are reported Nov. 25 in Nature. When a cell gets ready to split into new cells, this stable set-up permits its genetic material to be separated and distributed accurately. Otherwise, problem cells "“ like cancer cells"” arise. The human body contains more than a trillion cells,...

2010-05-14 10:16:25

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined a key part of how cells regulate the chromosome/microtubule interface, which is central to proper chromosomal distribution during cell division. "This is the surveillance machinery that makes sure that the chromosomes are divided correctly between cells," says Whitehead Member Iain Cheeseman. The findings are published in this week's issue of Molecular Cell. During cell division, the cell's DNA is consolidated into X-shaped chromosome pairs that...

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2010-03-10 08:10:43

If you can imagine identical twin sisters at rest, their breath drawing them subtly together and apart, who somehow latch onto ropes that pull them to opposite sides of the bed"”you can imagine what happens to a chromosome in the dividing cell. Understanding the forces that drive chromosome segregation "“ a crucial aspect of human development and some diseases, including cancer "“ is the goal of an international group of researchers who collaborate each summer at the MBL. In...

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2009-08-17 16:25:00

"A biologist, a physicist, and a nanotechnologist walk into a ..." sounds like the start of a joke. Instead, it was the start of a collaboration that has helped to decipher a critical, but so far largely unstudied, phase of how cells divide. Errors in cell division can cause mutations that lead to cancer, and this study could shed light on the role of chromosome abnormalities in uncontrolled cell replication.The biologist in question is University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Associate...