Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Breakthrough in Gene Regulation

"Rendering of DNA"

In an article published by Science Daily, structures that resemble a microscopic footballs were discovered to play a crucial role in gene regulation. Transcription factors are not in fact single molecules, however are around 7-10 molecules in size, and work together to express certain genes. The discovery was made at the University of York utilizing super-resolution microscopy, and researchers watched the transcription happen in real time. Professor Mark Leake, who led the project, was quoted saying "We had no idea that we would discover that transcription factors operated in this clustered way. The textbooks all suggested that single molecules were used to switch genes on and off, not these crazy nano footballs that we observed." Gene regulation, and the process of turning genes on and off is crucial to life and health. And although currently the research is being done in yeast cells, it will soon be applied to humans and advancing knowledge in medicine and beyond.

I feel this is an incredible breakthrough in how genes are regulated, and its exciting to know this could be the next big thing in health and medicine.

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