Epigenomics and Morphodynamics

author: François Képès, CNRS - LTCI UMR 5141 Telecom ParisTech
published: Oct. 17, 2008,   recorded: September 2008,   views: 2855

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The substrate for heredity, DNA, is chemically rather inert. However, it bears one of the elements of information that specify the form of the organism. How can a form be specified, starting from DNA ? Recent observations indicate that the dynamics of transcription — the process that decodes the hereditary information — can imprint forms of a certain topological class onto DNA. This topology allows both to optimize transcription and to facilitate the concerted change of the transcriptional status in response to environmental modifications. To the best of our knowledge, this morphogenetic event is first on the path from DNA to organism.

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