Scientists Make Key Finding Underlying Genetic Stability
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2001
Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory (http://www.lanl.gov/)
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 4 2001 - Biologists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory have discovered new insights into how two common proteins found in mammalian cells can cause chromosomes to fuse together -mutations that can destroy cells or give rise to cancer.
The research, by Susan Bailey and Edwin Goodwin of Los Alamos' Biosciences Division, was published recently in the journal Science.
Bailey, Goodwin and their colleagues looked at the role of telomeres in protecting chromosome ends. Chromosomes are made of deoxyribonucleic acid - DNA - and are the carriers of genetic information. Human cells contain 22 pairs of chromosomes plus two gender chromosomes. Telomeres are specialized protective structures at the end of each arm of the X-shaped chromosomes. MORE