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Genome Shape

November 29, 2010

The 3-D shape of a genome may affect how it’s expressed.


3-D genetics…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

More and more movies are released in 3-D, and genetic science may be moving in a similar direction. This according to geneticist Ken-Ichi Noma of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. He explains that our chromosome fibers spend most of their time in tangled clumps, but the exact shape of those clumps remains largely unknown. His team just determined the 3-D genome of a kind of yeast.

KEN-ICHI NOMA (Wistar Institute):
We did a lot of microscopic studies. And we combined the genomics data and microscopic data to model the 3-D genome structure.

They found that strands of functionally related genes often clumped near one another. And he suspects that they may share helper molecules that make all the surrounding genes work more efficiently. The work suggests the shape of our DNA may affect how its code is translated. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.