+++ Molecular Biology on video +++ What do molecular biologists actually do? In a video, Peter Becker explains what the invisible library in the cell nucleus is all about, how proteins determine the fate of cells, and how he and his team are investigating the clomplexity of life.
At the Division of Molecular Biology, we study the structure and function of chromatin. We want to understand how the molecular organization of genetic information in the cell nucleus controls essential cell processes.
The genetic information of living organisms, their genome, is stored in cells in the form of DNA. In the cell nucleus, DNA is organized together with proteins into a structure called chromatin. Every use of DNA, such as the transcription of genes or the recognition and repair of DNA damage, is closely linked to the organization of chromatin.
The structure of chromatin determines which genes are active in a cell. Different cell types, each with its own characteristic tasks, differ in the pattern of their chromatin modifications. These chemical modifications control gene expression programs and thus the activity of genes.
Chromatin structures can be dynamic and plastic in some places to allow cells to respond to changes in metabolism, physiology, or the environment. Other chromatin structures are 'epigenetically' stable and preserve the identity of cells in a changing environment. At the Division of Molecular Biology, we are particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex interplay between chromatin dynamics and stability.
For more detailed information, please visit the Molecular Biology website.
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