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.
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
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