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January 06, 2021 Wednesday 11:55:51 AM IST

Synthetic Probe for Visualising Chromosome

Science Innovations

Kyoto University scientists have developed a new synthetic probe that offers a safe and straightforward approach for visualising chromosome tips in living cells. This could advance research into aging and a wide range of diseases, including cancers. Telomeres protect chromosome ends that are constantly at risk of degradation and fusion. Telomeres are made of long repeating DNA sequences and bound proteins. Malfunction of telomeres causes cancer. Telomeres normally shorten with each cell division until they reach their limit, causing cell death. Visualising telomeres, especially their physical arrangements in real-time, is important for understanding their relevance to disease and aging. The new synthetic pyrrole-imidazole polyamide (PIP) probe precisely delivers a fluorescent compound to telomeres on the tips of chromosomes.