Telomeres

Telomeres are structures made from DNA sequences and proteins found at the ends of chromosomes. They cap and protect the end of a chromosome like the end of a shoelace. Telomeres limit cellular lifespan and keep cancer growth at bay.

The epigenome

Here’s a conundrum: Identical twins originate from the same DNA … so how can they turn out so different — even in traits that have a significant genetic component? Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna explains that while nature versus nurture has a lot to do with it, a deeper, related answer can be found within something called epigenetics.

Epigenetics

What we thought of as something fixed, DNA is actually very cleverly modified according to current environmental needs. Even before a baby is born, it already knows what world to prepare itself for. Moshe Szyf in this talk sheds light on his groundbreaking findings.

Gene regulation

During early development, cells begin to take on specific functions. Gene regulation ensures that the appropriate genes are expressed at the proper times. Gene regulation can also help an organism respond to its environment. Gene regulation is accomplished by a variety of mechanisms including chemically modifying genes and using regulatory proteins to turn genes on or off.