Science and Technology News

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The 3-D Structure of Human Genome Deciphered (Images 5 and 6)

In Image 5, nearby regions on a chain of DNA are indicated using similar colors. The fractal globule has a hierarchical organization; regions nearby along the chain are also nearby in 3-D. Part of this globule is cut out. In the resulting cross-section, the internal spatial clustering is evident.

Image 6 shows the result of reversing the force constraining a subchain of a fractal globule. The subchain unravels easily because the globule lacks knots, making the subchain accessible.

A team of researchers from Harvard University, the Broad Institute of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and MIT deciphered the 3-D structure of the human genome, paving the way for new insights into genomic function and expanding our understanding of how cellular DNA folds at scales that dwarf the double helix.

The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation. To learn more, see the story in the online Harvard Gazette the A look inside Scientists have deciphered 3-D structure of the human genome. (Date of Image: 2009)

Credit: Leonid A. Mirny, Maxim Imakaev and Alexnader N. Mirny

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