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Cambridge scientists create first 3D DNA structures

Scientists took 100,000 measurements of where different parts of DNA are close to each other. Credit: University of Cambridge

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have created the first 3D structures of DNA.

Researchers used a combination of imaging and up to 100,000 measurements of where different parts of the DNA are close to each other to examine the genome in a mouse embryonic stem cell.

It's thought the findings could help identify what causes diseases such as cancer.

Researchers say the findings could help identify what causes cancer. Credit: University of Cambridge

"Visualising a genome in 3D at such an unprecedented level of detail is an exciting step forward in research and one that has been many years in the making.

"This detail will reveal some of the underlying principles that govern the organisation of our genomes – for example how chromosomes interact or how structure can influence whether genes are switched on or off.

"If we can apply this method to cells with abnormal genomes, such as cancer cells, we may be able to better understand what exactly goes wrong to cause disease, and how we could develop solutions to correct this.”

– Dr Tom Collins, Genetics and Molecular Sciences team, The Wellcome Trust

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Satellite built in Stevenage blasts off into space

An artists impression of the satellite in space. Credit: Airbus

A communications satellite built in Stevenage was launched into space last night.

The main structure and propulsion system were constructed in Stevenage, before being shipped off to Toulouse to be assembled.

It blasted off from a launch site in French Guiana in South America.

The satellite is seven and half metres long and 3 metres wide. Its solar rays unfold to 45 metres - the equivalent of three double decker buses.

The satellite was constructed in Stevenage. Credit: Airbus

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