This image shows the coding region in a segmen...

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Francois Kepes, ‘Modelling and Engineering Genome Architecture’ team, Universite d’Evry Val d’Essonne made a YouTube video on Epigenetics & Morphodynamics. This is the study of epigenetic triggers in muscles. It can lead to the cause of diseases such as ALS (see tomorrow’s BLOG). This video discusses research that looked at genetic transcription. This is the process of enabling a gene, creating RNA and building proteins that can be used by the cell or trigger other genetic processes. One question scientists had was how do large number of genes get enabled quickly. It turns out that looking at a gene stretched out shows the genes being enabled as being at regular intervals along the DNA strand but if you coil the strand into a solenoid, all of the spots line up. Further viewing these spots in a chromosome shows that they are all together thus allowing fast activation. This reminds me of computer disk organization. We used to located records along a track and then on the next track so that switching tracks allowed fast read times without extra revolutions of the disk. The analogy is scary but we are similar to the computers we create.

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