Scientists are a step closer to understanding how DNA, the molecules that carry all of our genetic information, is squeezed into every cell in the body. How DNA is “packaged” in cells influences the activity of our genes and our risk for disease. Elucidating this process will help researchers in all areas of health care, from cancer and heart disease, to muscular dystrophy and osteoarthritis.
DNA is a long, floppy molecule, and there’s more than three feet of it in every cell. Our DNA is housed in structures called chromosomes, which condense the DNA to fit into the cell’s tight quarters.