Scientists crack the code to regenerate plant tissues

Plant regeneration can occur via formation of a mass of pluripotent cells. The process of acquisition of pluripotency involves silencing of genes to remove original tissue memory and priming for activation by external input. ...

Keeping chromosomes in check: A new role for heterochromatin

Although many people are aware that chromosomal damage and shortening contribute to the aging process, understanding how chromosomal defects occur is about more than just finding a way to turn back the clock. Large changes ...

Scientists extend mechanism for cracking biochemical code

Since the time of ancient Egypt, humans have been making and breaking secret codes to retain and gain critical information. Human life itself is based upon a genetic code of DNA or RNA sequences which cells read and translate ...

Staying a step ahead of the game

Trypanosoma brucei, which causes sleeping sickness, evades the immune system by repeatedly altering the structure of its surface coat. Sequencing of its genome and studies of its 3-D genome architecture have now revealed ...

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Histone

In biology, histones are highly alkaline proteins found in eukaryotic cell nuclei that package and order the DNA into structural units called nucleosomes. They are the chief protein components of chromatin, acting as spools around which DNA winds, and play a role in gene regulation. Without histones, the unwound DNA in chromosomes would be very long (a length to width ratio of more than 10 million to one in human DNA). For example, each human cell has about 1.8 meters of DNA, but wound on the histones it has about 90 micrometers (0.09 mm) of chromatin, which, when duplicated and condensed during mitosis, result in about 120 micrometers of chromosomes.

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