Tag Archives: gene expression

Researchers profile active genes in neurons based on connections

140519_friedman_retrotrap1_thumbA new technique allows researchers to examine gene expression in neurons that send messages to a synapse. A test run examined dopamine neurons that project to the brain region known as the nucleus accumbens.
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Checkered history of mother and daughter cells explains cell cycle differences

In preparing to divide, mother and daughter cells use different gears and levers to regulate their genes. A collaboration between two geneticists and their labs now reveals that this difference in gene expression ultimately affects the protein CLN3, the levels of which certify whether a cell is ready to commit to another grueling round of cell division. The work sets a new compass point for studying how cell division may go awry in different types of cancer. 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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