The control of gene expression

1. Kerr, H. (2021) ‘Epigenetics, lifestyle and ageing’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.2-5.
We now know that there is more to genetic variation that just the DNA base sequence itself. Our epigenetic landscape is subject to modification by our environment and lifestyle, as well as that of our parents and grandparents. Geneticist Holly Kerr explores the interplay between lifestyle, epigenetics and ageing. This article links to your unit on The Control of Gene Expression and supports your learning of the regulation of transcription and translation.

2. Ward, L. (2021) ‘Stem cells in research: growing body parts in the laboratory’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.30-34.
The world waits for stem cell transplants to revolutionise medicine. Yet behind the scenes, they have already transformed research without leaving the laboratory. Developmental biologist Lizzy Ward explains how stem cells are used to study and heal the body. This article has exam links to your unit on The Control of Gene Expression and supports your study of gene expression is controlled by a number of features and most of a cell’s DNA is not translated. Look out for the exam-style questions in this article.

3. Care, I. and Newman, A. (2020) ‘Biological clocks in plants environmental responses regulating gene expression’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (3), pp.2-6.
Most organisms have a biological clock, and their components and the molecular mechanisms used are often similar across species. Here circadian biologists Isabelle Carre and Amy Newman review the plant clock and the adaptations it drives.

4. Egan, B. and Moffat, K. (2020) ‘Molecular control of bacteriophage’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (1), pp.15-19.
Many disease-causing viruses lie dormant inside their target cells for years. Virologists Barry Egan and Kevin Moffat explore how studying the bacterial virus lambda has given us detailed molecular insights into such life cycles.

5. Hammond, K. (2020) ‘Interface: precision medicine’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.10-14.
Modern, fast, cheap DNA sequencing is changing the way we study and treat human disease. Geneticist Kate Hammond explores how it is becoming possible to develop and prescribe treatments tailored to individual patients based on their genome.

6. Ridley, C. (2020) ‘Mucus: helpful goo or deadly glue?’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.22-25.
Mucus lines the epithelial surfaces in the body that are exposed to the environment, including the respiratory, digestive and urogenital tracts. Biochemist Caroline Ridley describes how changes in the protective mucous barrier in the respiratory tract transform the mucus into a thick, sticky gel that can cause serious health problems.

7. Bryant, J. (2019) ‘Bioethics: genome editing: promises and problems’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (1), pp.10-13.
It has become relatively easy to add, alter, inactivate and remove genes from genomes. Bioethicist John Bryant explains some of the potential benefits and downsides in relation to human health and agriculture.

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