News of the WeekGenetics

Closing In on the Centromere

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 30-31
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5540.30

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On page 109, geneticists provide the clearest look yet at a human centromere, the cinched waist of a chromosome. They have demonstrated that a 3-million-base stretch of DNA embedded in what many have called the centromere is really all it takes to make a functional centromere. To their surprise, the nature of this core DNA indicates that, rather than being highly conserved, the centromere has changed significantly during primate evolution.