Scientists show first 3-D image of gene

April 25th, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 25 (IANS) Using a mix of geometry, biological research and techniques compatible with supercomputers, scientists have shown for the first time in 3-d space how a genome is organised. Researchers led by Cornelis Murre of University of California and Steve Cutchin of San Diego Supercomputer Centre (SDSC), used the gene encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain locus — responsible for generating diverse kinds of antibodies — to demonstrate the structure of the genome.

The observations, the researchers say, permit an insight into the structure of the human genome, which until now has remained elusive.

Because the genome is the most essential part of the cell for storing and accessing genetic information, the complete DNA sequence of a wide variety of genomes has been revealed in studies cionducted in a large number of labs– “a tremendous success that has provided insight into mechanisms that underpin the development of a wide variety of diseases,” the authors said.

However, Murre said, “it has remained unclear as to how the genome is organized in 3-D space. This is an important issue since the regulation of gene expression is controlled by interactions of genomic elements that are separated by large genomic distances. Thus, our team wanted to determine how the genome is structured within the nucleus.”

Their results have been published in April 18 issue of Cell.

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