Review Paper

Human Genetics

, Volume 133, Issue 4, pp 403-416

First online:

Recollections of a scientific journey published in human genetics: from chromosome territories to interphase cytogenetics and comparative genome hybridization

  • Thomas CremerAffiliated withLMU Biozentrum Email author 
  • , Christoph CremerAffiliated withInstitute of Molecular Biology (IMB)
  • , Peter LichterAffiliated withDivision of Molecular Genetics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

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In line with the intentions of an issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of Human Genetics, we focus on a series of frequently cited studies published in this journal during the 1980s and 1990s. These studies have contributed to the rise of molecular cytogenetics. They yielded evidence that chromosomes occupy distinct territories in the mammalian cell nucleus, first obtained with laser-UV-microbeam experiments and thereafter with chromosome painting, and contributed to the development of interphase cytogenetics and comparative genome hybridization. We provide a personal account of experimental concepts, which were developed by us and others, and describe some of the unforeseeable turns and obstacles, which we had to overcome on the way towards an experimental realization. We conclude with a perspective on current developments and goals of molecular cytogenetics.