Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fishing up chromosomes

21.04.2005


Researchers at the University of Dundee have made a significant new discovery on how cells behave and protect themselves against cancers and congenital disorders as reported in Nature tomorrow (Thursday April 21).



Dr Tomo Tanaka and his team members at the University’s School of Life Sciences, Drs Kozo Tanaka, Naomi Mukae and Hilary Dewar, in collaboration with Drs Euan James and Alan Prescott and researchers in Germany, have uncovered how cells prepare for the process of chromosome separation.

All human cells, except eggs and sperms, contain 46 chromosomes, all of which carry vital genetic information. Because genetic information is crucial for the proper function of cells for the organs and tissues that they organise, all chromosomes must be precisely copied and separated into two cells, known as the daughter cells, during each cell division. Otherwise cells would die, become transformed into cancer cells, or cause congenital diseases such as Down’s syndrome.


Cells regulate chromosome separation by a network of threads called microtubules. To prepare chromosome separation, the microtubule network must first capture chromosomes. However, how microtubules capture chromosomes has until now been a complete mystery. By visualizing this step in live cells, the research team has successfully analysed the crucial but so-far concealed process.

Dr Tomo Tanaka says "We can liken chromosomes to big fishes that must be caught. To catch the fishes, cells are equipped with sophisticated fishing lines that are called microtubules. Our study discovered which parts of ’fishes’ are hooked up on the ’fishing line’ and how ’fishes’ are pulled in using the ’fishing line’. Very interestingly, the strength of the ’fishing line’ is enhanced only when ’fishes’ are caught on the line. We discovered how cells make this happen. I do not think any grand master of fishing can beat cells in our body, whose ’fishing lines’ or microtubules are never broken when they pull gigantic ’fishes’ out of water."

The research team believes that this is one of the most crucial steps on how cells assure their chromosome inheritance during their divisions to prevent cell death, cancers and other diseases. The team is currently trying to discover what ’baits’ are used to attract ’big fishes’ towards ’fishing lines’.

Dr Tomo Tanaka is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and Principal Investigator in the Division of Gene Regulation and Expression based in the Wellcome Trust Biocentre at the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences. The research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.

Angela Durcan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressreleases/prarp05/chromosomes.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>