New Horizons in Science

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The human genome's 3-D code

Topic: Genomics
Ed ong
Monday, October 31, 2016 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Iberian, Omni la Mansión

First came the discovery of DNA's double-helix structure. Then the genetic code, a set of rules for translating DNA sequences into proteins. Molecular biology was born and rapidly began to revolutionize our understanding of life. But since the early 1980s, further progress on understanding the structure and activity of DNA has been slowed by a growing realization that the work of genes is controlled by another code—a three-dimensional code, by which the configuration of DNA in space controls gene expression. In recent years, Erez Lieberman Aiden and his collaborators have tackled this problem by developing new technologies that make it possible to sequence genomes in 3D, revealing not only the sequence of the bases, but their spatial position. These methods have yielded the first reliable maps of loops across the human genome, have uncovered a 3d code shared by all mammalian species, and have enabled the development of genome surgery, where the insertion of a single base pair disrupts a cell's folding pattern and radically changes its function. Today, these techniques are used by thousands of laboratories, all over the world.

Social media hashtag: #3dgenome


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