Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Show How Basic Biology Understanding Can Further Genetic Engineering

14.11.2002


A step to further understanding of the process whereby genes are turned on and off in living organisms has been achieved by a team of researchers at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. Understanding of this process has substantial consequences for furthering the use of medical genetic engineering to grow new tissue to replace damaged or defective organs or to halt the growth of undesirable tumors.

The achievement is described in an article in the current issue of Nature magazine, written by Howard Cedar, the Harry and Helen L. Brenner Professor of Molecular Biology at the Medical School, together with Jianmin Zhang, Xu Feng, both graduate students from China; graduate student Tamar Hashimshony; and senior researcher Dr. Ilana Keshet. The article is entitled “Establishment of Transcriptional Competence in Early and late S-Phase.”

Generally speaking, said Prof. Cedar, a winner of the Israel Prize in biology, there are two kinds of genes in every cell—those which control the “housekeeping” duties which are necessary to keep all cells functioning, and specific genes which give each tissue its unique properties.



Since a complete set of genes exists in every cell, no matter where it is located in a given organism, most tissue specific genes are actually in a dormant (unexpressed) state. Only those tissue specific genes needed for a particular cell type (liver, heart, brain, etc.) are activated along with the housekeeping genes.

How are some genes kept on while others are turned off? The new studies from Prof. Cedar’s laboratory suggest that this occurs during the process of gene duplication that takes place prior to cell division. Housekeeping genes get copied early during a unique “window of opportunity” which makes them active, while other genes are copied later, and as a result are mostly doomed to inactivity. Thus, in a sense, each cell knows how to pass on to the next generation both the genes themselves, as well as the instructions for setting up their state of activity or inactivity. This concept was actually suggested 25 years ago, but the Hebrew University-Hadassah researchers are the first to prove it.

These new findings provide fundamental information important for understanding how the embryo develops and for deciphering the genetic defects in cancer. This will also help scientists develop better methods for therapeutic genetic engineering by providing the technology required to insure that when genes are inserted they will always be active.

Jerry Barach | Hebrew University

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht No gene is an island
25.07.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>