Chromosome News and Research

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In the nucleus of each cell, the DNA molecule is packaged into thread-like structures called chromosomes. Each chromosome is made up of DNA tightly coiled many times around proteins called histones that support its structure.

Chromosomes are not visible in the cell’s nucleus—not even under a microscope—when the cell is not dividing. However, the DNA that makes up chromosomes becomes more tightly packed during cell division and is then visible under a microscope. Most of what researchers know about chromosomes was learned by observing chromosomes during cell division.

Each chromosome has a constriction point called the centromere, which divides the chromosome into two sections, or “arms.” The short arm of the chromosome is labeled the “p arm.” The long arm of the chromosome is labeled the “q arm.” The location of the centromere on each chromosome gives the chromosome its characteristic shape, and can be used to help describe the location of specific genes.
New study unravels genetic vulnerability in breast cancer tumors

New study unravels genetic vulnerability in breast cancer tumors

Researchers reconstruct the birth of a male sex chromosome in Atlantic herring

Researchers reconstruct the birth of a male sex chromosome in Atlantic herring

Study reveals gene that provides resistance to tomatoes from bacterial speck disease

Study reveals gene that provides resistance to tomatoes from bacterial speck disease

Study shows misfiring brain cells can create swallowing problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Study shows misfiring brain cells can create swallowing problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Scientists publish most comprehensive genome information for major agricultural weeds

Scientists publish most comprehensive genome information for major agricultural weeds

Scientists advance genetic understanding of the tree of life

Scientists advance genetic understanding of the tree of life

Study demonstrates how a single gene drives changes in wild songbird's social behavior

Study demonstrates how a single gene drives changes in wild songbird's social behavior

'Survival of the fittest': How meiotic drivers shape the evolution of gamete formation

'Survival of the fittest': How meiotic drivers shape the evolution of gamete formation

Researchers show how two X chromosomes communicate during embryo development

Researchers show how two X chromosomes communicate during embryo development

A genetic switch in brain cells can toggle between sex-specific states when necessary

A genetic switch in brain cells can toggle between sex-specific states when necessary

Using genetic engineering to study evolutionary assimilation of foreign DNA in a new host

Using genetic engineering to study evolutionary assimilation of foreign DNA in a new host

New theory shows why Y chromosome may be more resilient than previously believed

New theory shows why Y chromosome may be more resilient than previously believed

New technology helps visualize entire genome at molecular resolution

New technology helps visualize entire genome at molecular resolution

Virginia Tech scientists reveal molecular cause underlying rare genetic disorder

Virginia Tech scientists reveal molecular cause underlying rare genetic disorder

Research identifies TLR7 gene that predisposes individuals to severe COVID-19

Research identifies TLR7 gene that predisposes individuals to severe COVID-19

Researchers use mathematical modeling to unravel the mechanisms behind tetraploidy

Researchers use mathematical modeling to unravel the mechanisms behind tetraploidy

New technology can speed up drug development for tuberculosis

New technology can speed up drug development for tuberculosis

Study shows neo-self antibody as major cause of recurrent pregnancy loss

Study shows neo-self antibody as major cause of recurrent pregnancy loss

Advanced cryo-EM reveals stunning details of viral RNA replication complex structure

Advanced cryo-EM reveals stunning details of viral RNA replication complex structure

Study shows how proteins prevent DNA replication errors

Study shows how proteins prevent DNA replication errors