Video How to cram your entire genome into a tiny nucleus

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Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Stretched end to end, the DNA in the nucleus of just one of your cells would be as long as you are. Now, using sophisticated statistics, imaging, and experimental data, biophysicists have a clearer idea about how all this genetic material is squished into such a tiny space.  “This new work does reveal a striking, high-resolution model of the human genome,” says Job Dekker, a biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, who was not involved with the work. “It is indeed beautiful.”Over the past decade, researchers have come to realize that how our DNA is bunched into the nucleus is a miracle of packaging, with very deliberate loops and bends that bring specific parts of each chromosome into contact to help control what genes are active. “Cells have been evolving to exploit this apparently chaotic organization to efficiently store the genetic information and use it for their function,” says Marco Di Stefano, a biophysicist now at the National Centre for Genomic Analysis in Barcelona, Spain.center_img In the new study, he and his colleagues used statistical approaches to convert experimental data into a 3D model. Previous experiments—capturing when one bit of DNA came close to another bit of DNA—had provided only indirect information about individual connections, but the new modeling resulted in a comprehensive, biologically correct depiction (visualized above) of how our DNA fits into a nucleus. In the video, each chromosome is a different color. The model incorporated imaging data with the experimental results about DNA contacts. The analysis yielded specifics not discernable from the experimental data alone, such as showing that active genes are near the center of the nucleus and inactive ones are toward the edges, the team reports this month in Scientific Reports.The model is “summarizing a large portion of the knowledge we have on the DNA organization in the nucleus,” says Di Stefano, who did the work while a graduate student at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy. He hopes to next build a model that can change over time, as “with our approach, it is possible to study the dynamics of the genome” as cells adjust to changing conditions by altering the DNA’s 3D structure to turn different genes on and off. But already, this model gives researchers a better sense of how chromosomes are organized, a useful insight for both basic and biomedical research, Dekker says. Emaillast_img

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