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Gene regulation

Diagram of chromatin enhancers

Tracking genes’ remote controls

As an embryo develops, different genes are turned on in different cells, to form muscles, neurons and other bodily parts. Inside each cell’s nucleus, genetic sequences known as enhancers act like remote controls, switching genes on and off. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory…

By Guest author(s)

Science

The informant: a jumping gene

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method for studying gene regulation, by employing a jumping gene as an informant. Published online today in Nature Genetics, the new method is called GROMIT. It enables researchers to…

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Science

Blood-clotting protein linked to cancer and septicaemia

In our not-so-distant evolutionary past, stress often meant imminent danger, and the risk of blood loss, so part of our body’s stress response is to stock-pile blood-clotting factors. Scientists in the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU), a collaboration between the European Molecular…

By Guest author(s)

Science

These microscopy images show that a protein from the NSL complex (green) and MOF (red) both bind to all chromosomes in male (right) and female (left) fruit flies - overlap is shown in purple. On the male X chromosome, MOF binds not only to promoter regions but also to the body of the genes, generating a brighter signal (pink). Image credits: Akhtar/EMBL.

A life-changing partnership

Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology Freiburg have identified a novel protein complex that regulates around 4000 genes in the fruit fly Drosophila and likely plays an important role in mammals, too.…

By Guest author(s)

Science

What makes us unique? Not only our genes

Once the human genome was sequenced in 2001, the hunt was on for the genes that make each of us unique. But scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and Yale and Stanford Universities in the USA, have found that we differ from each other mainly because…

By Guest author(s)

Science

A balancing act between the sexes

Recent research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) reveals new insights into how cells achieve equality between the sexes. A new link discovered between the membrane surrounding the nucleus and the male X-chromosome in fruit flies may play a crucial role in determining how active…

By Guest author(s)

Science

A link between our body’s energy levels and a protein that wraps our DNA?

Living organisms need to sense the amount of energy that is available to them and regulate the activity of their genes accordingly. Scientists have made the unexpected finding that a histone protein, which wraps DNA into tight bundles and regulates gene activity, can bind a small molecule produced…

By Guest author(s)

Science

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