New Advances in Chromosome Architecture
Our knowledge of the “architecture” of chromosomes has grown enormously in the past decade. This new insight has been enabled largely through advances in interdisciplinary research methods at the cutting-edge interface of the life and physical sciences. Importantly this has involved several state-of-the-art biophysical tools used in conjunction with molecular biology approaches which enable investigation of chromosome structure and function in living cells. Also, there are new and emerging interfacial science tools which enable significant improvements to the spatial and temporal resolution of quantitative measurements, such as in vivo super-resolution and powerful new single-molecule biophysics methods, which facilitate probing of dynamic chromosome processes hitherto impossible. And there are also important advances in the methods of theoretical biophysics which have enabled advances in predictive modeling of this high quality experimental data from molecular and physical biology to generate new understanding of the modes of operation of chromosomes, both in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Here, I discuss these advances, and take stock on the current state of our knowledge of chromosome architecture and speculate where future advances may lead.
Key wordsSingle-molecule biophysics Super-resolution DNA Nucleus
M.C.L. was assisted by a Royal Society URF and research funds from the Biological Physical Sciences Institute (BPSI) of the University of York, UK.
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