For The First Time, Scientists Create a 3D Map of Chromosomes’ Organization !

In collaboration with researchers from the Weizmann Institute in Israel, a team from the Institut de Génétique Humaine (CNRS) has, for the first time, revealed the detailed three-dimensional architecture of chromosomes: Giacomo Cavalli and his colleagues have achieved high-resolution mapping of the different contacts that exist within and between chromosomes. They performed this feat using a new very high-throughput technique improved by the Montpellier team. This major research work should shed new light on the impact of 3D chromosome organization on genome expression and on the onset of diseases such as cancer. It is published in the online version of the journal Cell of 19 January 2012. Continue reading


Learning more about chromosome fragility

© Anne Helmrich

Why are some chromosomal regions particularly susceptible to breakage? Finding the answer to this question is crucial because this fragility is a factor in tumour development. A team from the Institute of Genetics and Molecular & Cellular Biology (CNRS/Inserm/University of Strasbourg) has just solved part of the mystery. Laszlo Tora and his colleagues have discovered that breakage in the longest human genes is caused by a phenomenon that, until now, was thought unlikely to occur in mammalian cells: interference between two key genetic processes, DNA transcription[1] and replication[2]. This research, published in the journalMolecular Cell on 23 December 2011, could eventually lead to novel strategies for fighting tumours.
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