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Night vision inverts chromatin

Researchers have discovered a cellular mechanism that helps nocturnal mammals see in the dark. Mice, cats, deer, lemurs, and other mammals that are active at night remodel the DNA within their eyes to turn photoreceptor cells into light-collecting lenses, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(09)00137-8 published today (Apr. 16) in__ Cell__. Image: striatic and Animal Photos! In nearly all eukaryotic nuclei, chromatin -- the structural building block of chromosome

Elie Dolgin
Researchers have discovered a cellular mechanism that helps nocturnal mammals see in the dark. Mice, cats, deer, lemurs, and other mammals that are active at night remodel the DNA within their eyes to turn photoreceptor cells into light-collecting lenses, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(09)00137-8 published today (Apr. 16) in__ Cell__.
Image: striatic and Animal Photos!
In nearly all eukaryotic nuclei, chromatin -- the structural building block of chromosomes -- is spatially separated into distinct compartments. Condensed, non-coding heterochromatin is usually localized to the periphery of the nucleus, while extended, active euchromatin typically resides in the nuclear interior. This "conventional" pattern is nearly universal, and probably helps cells regulate essential nuclear functions such as how and when genes are expressed. But some nuclei are special. In 2006, a team led by linkurl:Didier Devys,;http://www.igbmc.fr/recherche/Dep_GF/Eq_LTora/index_uk.html a molecular biologist at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France, linkurl:showed;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040067 that mouse...




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