Babraham Institute scientists have identified chromosome ‘loops’ which have implications for healthy growth of babies in the womb. Disruption of these loops can lead to Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) – over-large babies with various tumours – which affects 1 in 13,000 births. The risk of developing the syndrome is increased four-fold in babies born following IVF treatment.
Confirmation of the existence of the loops, described in an article published in Nature Genetics, was made by Dr Adele Murrell and colleagues, working with Dr Wolf Reik at the Babraham Institute. Scientists had previously speculated that these loops, or something similar, exist, but no-one had evidence to prove this was the case.
Dr Reik’s group studies imprinted genes, which are genes in mammals that are only expressed from one of the parental chromosomes. These genes have important roles in regulating the growth of the baby in the womb and its adaptations to life outside the womb. Many of them occur in clusters, and share elements by which their expression can be increased (enhancers) or decreased (silencers).
Emma Southern | alfa
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy