Why cells with identical genes can be unique

Why cells with identical genes are unique

Scientists have made a significant discovery that explains how and why the billions of different cells in our bodies look and act so differently despite containing identical genes. The discovery, made by a team from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, applies to all complex animals, including humans.

The new work helps towards understanding why a blood cell and a brain cell look and act very differently yet contain exactly the same genes. This puzzling question about the so-called 'cellular identity' is central to the field of epigenetics, which strives to explain how cells in your body, with identical sets of genes, can look and behave so differently. The study of epigenetics has provided key molecular insights into how every type of cell has its own unique pattern of genes that are either switched on or off in a tightly controlled manner.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-discovery-cells-identical-genes-unique.html