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Gene expression occurs within the context of the nucleus and involves the modular assembly and cooperative function of regulatory factors. The Janicki laboratory is using single-cell live-cell imaging to investigate transcriptional mechanisms as well as the functions of the histone H3 variant, H3.3, and PML nuclear bodies. The ability to visualize a specific transcription site in single living cells now provides unprecedented insight into the timing and spatial organization of gene regulation. Applying this approach broadly makes it possible to identify novel regulators, deduce their mechanisms of action, and extend single factor analysis to the elucidation of regulatory pathways. Our experimental strategy provides a previously unavailable view of gene regulation that will allow us to expand our understanding of its basic principles.
The microscope in the image belonged to William E. Horner, M.D., a collaborator with Caspar Wistar, M.D., in the early 1800s.
Dr. Horner, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was a pioneer of the use of microscopes in anatomical and medical research. He authored Special Anatomy and Histology, a seminal text on the subject.