Untwisting DNA reveals new force that shapes genomes

Advances in microscopy have enabled researchers to picture loops of DNA strands for the first time. The images reveal how the human genome organizes itself in three-dimensional space at much higher resolution than previously ...

How cells control mitochondria

Errors in the metabolic processes of mitochondria are responsible for a variety of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Scientists needed to find out just how the necessary building blocks are imported into the complex ...

Optical switch illuminates cell development

Combining light and a protein linked to cancer, researchers at Princeton University have created a biological switch to conduct an unprecedented exploration of cellular development in the embryo.

Pinpointing the molecular mechanisms of ageing

Although each and every one of us goes through it, ageing is a poorly understood process. Researchers have used a biomarker called the epigenetic clock to identify a gene that is closely linked to ageing in humans. The study, ...

How do fruit flies grow legs? Solving a molecular mystery

What do cancer and the growing legs of a fruit fly have in common? They can both be influenced by a single molecule, a protein that tends to call the shots inside of embryos as they develop into living, breathing animals. ...

Understanding key enzyme's role in embryonic development

The catalytic activity of an enzyme called Set1A—a protein that is essential to the viability of embryonic stem cells (ESCs)—is not required for ESC self-renewal, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in ...

Too much 'noise' can affect brain development

Using cutting-edge imaging technology, University of California, Irvine biologists have determined that uncontrolled fluctuations (known at "noise) in the concentration of the vitamin A derivative Retinoic acid (RA) can lead ...

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