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Scientists Get First 3-D Images of Gene Machine

Photonics.com
Dec 1999
BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 13 -- Scientists at the University of California - Berkeley andLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have obtained the first solid picture of a portion of the machinery that activates and deactivates genes. The researchers used electron microscopy and single-particle image analysis to reconstruct a 3-D image of the part of the machine that binds to DNA.
The image shows how the proteins are arranged, and provides clues to the inner workings of the machinery that transcribes genes -- the complex of proteins that attaches to and copies DNA into an RNA blueprint for building proteins. For now, this is very basic, very fundamental research that helps us understand how the machine works, said Eva Nogales, team leader, UC Berkeley assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, and LBNL scientist.


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