New York University chemists have employed a computer simulation whose results have enhanced scientific understanding of the DNA transcription process. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, appears in the June 7 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Previous research has indicated that chromatin--a chromosomes substance consisting of histone proteins and DNA--exhibits salt-dependent conformations. Specifically, chains of nucleosomes, the building blocks of chromatin that appear as bead-like structures along DNA, fold into a condensed fiber as salt increases. This folding and the interplay between chromatin structures regulate fundamental gene expression. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this process remains unclear.
The research team, which included NYU chemists Tamar Schlick, Jian Sun (now at the Cornell Medical School), and Qing Zhang, analyzed a 12-nucleosome array. Using a variety of salt conditions, the researchers found that the nucleosomal array formed irregular three-dimensional zig-zag structures at high salt concentrations and "beads-on-a-string" structures at low salt, demonstrating that the structure of chromatin strongly depends on its salt environment.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
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