Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new way of looking at the human genome

17.06.2004


Under the EU Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for Research and Development (2002-2006) 2.2 million Euros have been awarded to the 3DGENOME-research program. FP6 is one of the world’s largest research programmes, with a budget of 17.5 billion Euros, of which around 3 billion Euros is available for life sciences research. The main objective of the 3DGENOME program is to understand how the human genome, consisting of a number of very long DNA molecules that carry our genetic information, are coiled up inside our cells. By changing the way that DNA is folded, cells control the switching on and off genes, which are the units of genetic information. Results will help to understand errors in our genetic system that for instance result in tumour formation. The research program is conducted by a consortium of seven European partners and is coordinated by the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.



The human cell orchestrates the activity of its about 35,000 genes in an extremely efficient and reliably way. These genes are bits of information on DNA. Each of our cells contains DNA molecules with a total length of 2 meters, folded inside a cell nucleus of only 1/100th of a millimetre diameter. This is comparable to packing 20 km of thin wire inside just a tennis ball. Evidently, the DNA thread is extremely folded inside a cell. This folding plays an important role in how a cell switches genes on and off, thereby deciding how the cell behaves. Folding decides whether a cell becomes a skin cell, a liver cell or a neuron, and whether a cell is healthy or sick.

The 3dgenome program should lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of how our genome functions. Using advanced microscopic techniques in combination with novel data analysis software, the consortium of European scientists intend to establish a three-dimensional map of the DNA fibre inside the human cell. This spatial structure will be related to patterns of switched off and stitched on genes along the DNA molecule.


Since it is very likely that the three-dimensional organisation of genomes is the same for all animals, the 3DGENOME program, in addition to human cells, incorporates studies on cells from the mouse and from fruit flies, two well-studied organisms. Each of these organisms has specific technical advantages, such as (i) detailed information about how genes are arranged on the DNA and which genes are switched on and off, (ii) technology to visualise DNA inside the cell using state-of-the-art microscopy, and (iii) methods to analyse microscopy images and to obtain information about the three-dimensional folding of DNA.

Frans Stravers | alfa

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>