Looking At Chromosome Locations In Cells

The genome is the set of paired chromosomes that exists in every cell of your body. It contains the complete information for every cell in a humans body but of course only some of the genome is required to mould the cell its in. The exact layout and structure of the genome inside the cell has been explored in recent years through methods such as fluorescent dying and a bit of X-ray crystallography. A very effective method that was only produced a few decades ago was conformation capture techniques. To do this two cells (more specifically the DNA from them) is cross linked using formaldehyde. Then the DNA molecules are split, cut up and separated using enzymes known as restriction endonucleases. Then another enzyme is introduced that produces ligation and bonds these DNA fragments into rings. Then the cross linking is reversed and the DNA straightens our. Chemical analysis of this mix and match DNA will reveal which area the ligand bonds wished to from in and the more bonds the more reactive the area. If the pairs of chromosomes propensity to react is known then thing about their nature can be deduced, such as their domains and compactness. In order to gain some more information researchers have recently presented a modelling and experimental approach to analysing the genome from within cells. To do this the model imagined chromosomes like rough grains of sand only 30 nanometres across. Colloidal models combined with Hi-C, a program that can generate a general map of where the chromosomes are most likely to be, demonstrated the ability to predict results demonstrated in living cells. An example is the shuffling a location with low gene density to the edges of a region while compacting as many activated genes as possible in the centre. The fact that previous models have never predicted this observed event but this new one does is very promising for the research’s future.

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