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    chromatin: Chromatin is a structure consisting of DNA and histones. It is the primary constituent of a chromosome. 

    deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): A double-stranded chain of nucleotides. It carries a cell’s genetic information and is found in the cells of all living organisms. It is capable of self replication and the synthesis of RNA.

    enzyme: cellular proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Almost all enzymes are proteins. Almost all processes in cells need enzymes in order to occur at significant rates. Enzyme activity can be affected by other molecules. Inhibitors are molecules that decrease enzyme activity; activators are molecules that increase activity.

    epigenetics: The study of inherited characteristics that lie outside of the genome in organisms (from the word epi, meaning “outside” or “above,” originally from the Greek). 

    epigenome: the comprehensive biological unit that controls gene function and expression, comprised of DNA and the histone proteins.

    gene: A region on the chromosome that is the basic unit of inheritance and is a union of genomic sequences encoding a coherent set of potentially overlapping functional products.  

    genetics: Genetics is the study of DNA-based inherited characteristics in organisms.

    genome: the entire hereditary information of an organism, includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA. The term was coined in 1920 by Hans Winkler, Professor of Botany at the University of Hamburg, Germany, as a portmanteau of the words gene and chromosome.  

    histone: are the chief protein components of chromatin. They act as the spools around which DNA winds, and they play a role in gene regulation.  

    nucleosome: The fundamental unit of chromatin. It is composed of two copies of each of the four core histones, around which 146 base pairs of DNA are wrapped.

    nucleotide: A chemical compound consisting of a sugar, one phosphate group, and one of four nitrogenous bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.

    post translational histone modification: the chemical modification of chromatin through methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination that controls the tightness of the DNA around the histone proteins and, consequently, controls the expression of the genes.

    translation: The process by which a complete messenger RNA molecule serves as a template for the biosynthesis of a specific protein.


    Jan, 2010

     


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