A Next Generation of Advances in Chromosome Architecture

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New insight into the architecture of chromosomes, their molecular composition, structure and spatial location, and time-resolved features, has grown enormously through developments of a range of pioneering interdisciplinary approaches that lie at the interface of the life and physical sciences. These involve several state-of-the-art "physics of life" tools that are both experimental and theoretical, used in conjunction with molecular biology methods which enable investigation of chromosome structure and function in vitro, in vivo, and even in silico. In particular, a move towards far greater quantitation has enabled transformative leaps in our understanding. These have involved valuable improvements to the spatial and temporal resolution of quantitative measurements, such as in vivo super-resolved light microscopy and single-molecule biophysics methods, which facilitate probing of dynamic chromosome processes hitherto impossible. Similarly, there have been important advances in the theoretical biophysics approaches which have enabled advances in predictive modeling to generate new understanding of the modes of operation of chromosomes across all domains of life. Here, I discuss these advances, and review the current state of our knowledge of chromosome architecture and speculation where future advances may lead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022

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  • Chromosomes/genetics
  • Nanotechnology

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