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Nature Reviews Genetics





 



Epigenetics: Getting instructions from mum

2017-08-07

In gametes, most of the epigenetic modifications are erased before fertilization, but some epigenetic traits are retained and can be passed to the progeny in a process that remains poorly understood. Two studies now show that histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) is important for transgenerational



Genome organization: Tracking chromosomal conformation through the cell cycle

2017-07-24

How chromosome organization changes during the cell cycle has been notoriously difficult to characterize owing to technical limitations, with most studies focusing on interphase nuclei. A new study reports single-cell genome conformation data for hundreds of cells in different phases of the cell cycle and



Complex disease: From non-coding risk variant to biological mechanism in CAD

2017-08-07

Analyses of the genetic architecture of complex diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD) have revealed that most genetic variants are located in non-coding regions of the genome. As regulatory variants can act over long genomic distances, the causal gene and specific mechanism through which



Alternative splicing: A thermometer controlling gene expression

2017-07-24

To ensure a rapid response to environmental stress, the circadian clock — the endogenous oscillator that controls physiological and behavioural responses to the cycle of day and night — can be modulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms such as alternative splicing, instead of relying only on de



TET-mediated active DNA demethylation: mechanism, function and beyond

2017-05-30

In mammals, DNA methylation in the form of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) can be actively reversed to unmodified cytosine (C) through TET dioxygenase-mediated oxidation of 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC), followed by replication-dependent dilution or thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG)-dependent base excision repair. In



The impact of replication stress on replication dynamics and DNA damage in vertebrate cells

2017-07-17

The interplay between replication stress and the S phase checkpoint is a key determinant of genome maintenance, and has a major impact on human diseases, notably, tumour initiation and progression. Recent studies have yielded insights into sequence-dependent and sequence-independent sources of endogenous replication stress. These



Network propagation: a universal amplifier of genetic associations

2017-06-12

Biological networks are powerful resources for the discovery of genes and genetic modules that drive disease. Fundamental to network analysis is the concept that genes underlying the same phenotype tend to interact; this principle can be used to combine and to amplify signals from individual



Exploiting induced and natural epigenetic variation for crop improvement

2017-07-03

Plant breeding has traditionally relied on combining the genetic diversity present within a species to develop combinations of alleles that provide desired traits. Epigenetic diversity may provide additional sources of variation within a species that could be captured or created for crop improvement. It will