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How cells manage their genes focus of $1.4 million NSF grant to Florida State
Date:9/14/2010

alogy, only some of the books would be physically accessible others may be housed in the building, but locked away in a room that cannot be accessed. Genomes also segregate their component genes into accessible and inaccessible genetic material, but the genome is dynamic, rapidly able to reorganize itself in order to change gene activity as required for processes such as progression through the cell division cycle or tissue and organ development.

"Our study proposes to combine biochemical and microscopic techniques to access and map the regions of the genome that are accessible versus inaccessible," Bass said.

The research is considered vital because genome organization is the prerequisite to its function.

On the study's distinguished transdisciplinary team are FSU co-principal investigators Karen M. McGinnis and Jonathan H. Dennis. Florida State recruited the molecular biologists/geneticists in 2008 and 2009, respectively, for the Integrating Genotype and Phenotype research "cluster" that Bass and fellow biologist David Houle helped to develop as a part of the university's ongoing Pathways of Excellence initiative. Earlier this year, McGinnis garnered a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the NSF. Dennis is a pioneer in the mapping of human chromatin. From 2003-2007, Bass led an NSF-funded project to map genes onto maize chromosomes using advanced microscopic techniques.

Joining the team from FAMU's College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agricultural Sciences is Professor Oghenekome U. Onokpise, who collaborated with Bass on the earlier NSF-funded maize study.

Advanced technology will play a major role in the new research.

"My co-investigator Jonathan Dennis has pioneered the use of combined biochemical, genomic and computational techniques to study the functional organization of human chromatin, the complex mixture, including DNA and associated proteins in which gene
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Contact: Hank Bass
bass@bio.fsu.edu
850-644-9711
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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