Tag Archives: C. David Allis

Two Rockefeller scientists elected to National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences announced the election of 72 new members this morning, including two Rockefeller University scientists. More »

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Silencing human gene through new science of epigenetics; Gene associated with human development—and cancer

For the first time, scientists have shown how the activity of a gene associated with normal human development, as well as the occurrence of cancer and several other diseases, is repressed epigenetically — by modifying not the DNA code of a gene, but instead the spool-like histone proteins around which DNA tightly wraps itself in the nucleus of cells in the body. More »

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New science of “epigenetics” advanced by findings reported in Molecular Cell

Scientists have known that some physical changes that are passed on to the next generation can’t be attributed to mutations in DNA alone. Thus a relatively new field of research — epigenetics — has emerged to investigate the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. More »

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Silence of the genes

In addition to nails and screws, a carpenter’s bag of tricks includes glue. Nails can be pulled, screws can be removed, but glue is typically permanent.

Nature uses its own version of glue to jam a gene’s expression when its activity could somehow disrupt the body’s functioning. For example, nature’s “glue” silences one of the two copies of the X chromosome that female mammals carry in their body cells during early development to ensure that the embryo doesn’t get double doses of the same genes. Recent scientific evidence suggests that “gluing” or compacting mechanisms in the cell’s nucleus might control the activity of large regions of the genome. More »

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Rockefeller University researchers identify protein modules that “read” distinct gene “silencing codes”

Since the time when humans first learned to record their thoughts in written form, codes have kept sensitive information from prying eyes. But conveying information through a code requires someone who can read it as well as write it. The same is true for one of nature’s methods for transmitting information that activates or silences a gene: the “histone code.” More »

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Frog (and histone) tails tell the tale

Using laboratory cultures of human leukemia cells and the tails of tadpoles, a Rockefeller University researcher has shown that specialized proteins in the cell nucleus contain chemical flags that provide a “code” that spells death. More »

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