Educators and scientists should discard the idea that a cells nucleus is just a bag of chromosomes, according to Johns Hopkins cell biologist Kathy Wilson, Ph.D. In a Feb. 17 session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Denver, Wilson and five others will introduce visual evidence of the nucleuss newly recognized importance.
"The old view is that the nucleus is simply a warehouse for chromosomes," says Wilson, associate professor of cell biology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicines Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. "But new research and imaging techniques show that the nucleus is really the cells mothership, a crucial and very active source of information, support and control."
Its not too surprising that the nucleus itself has been overshadowed by the easy-to-see reams of genetic material and the fascinatingly tiny machinery that loosens, prepares, reads and copies genes. But in the last 10 or 15 years, evidence has mounted that these interior processes are actively linked to the nucleus, not just randomly taking place inside it, says Wilson, also chair of the public information committee of the American Society for Cell Biology, which helped organize the session.
Joanna Downer | EurekAlert!
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