Two are one too many – this is the motto used by cells of a female organism: These contain two X chromosomes, one of which always becomes inactivated. How does the cell recognize that it contains two of these sex chromosomes and how does it choose which one to turn off? Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), working together with French colleagues, have now been able to elucidate an early step in this complex process.
Forty-five years ago, British scientist Mary Lyon already described this chromosome inactivation typical of female cells. Lyon proposed a hypothesis: With two copies of the X chromosome, all X-linked genes are present in two copies. However, in a male organism, which is equipped with a set of one X and one Y chromosome, the X genes are present in only one copy in each cell. To restore genetic balance, a female cell inactivates one of its two X chromosomes.
During development of a female embryo, inactivation of either of the X chromosomes, the one inherited from the father or the one inherited from the mother, occurs at random. To coordinate inactivation, the cell first needs to determine whether it contains more than one X chromosome and then make a choice which of the two to switch off. Since the mid-1980s it has been known that a specific region of the X chromosome termed X inactivation center (Xic) is crucial for a correct inactivation process.
Julia Rautenstrauch | alfa
Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
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.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences