Philosophical Transactions B publishes theme issues across the biological sciences, guest edited by leading researchers in their respective fields. Each issue provides an original and authoritative synthesis, highlighting the latest research, ideas and opinions, creating a foundation for future research.

Several recent issues of Philosophical Transactions B have showcased current developments in understanding some of the mysteries surrounding the structure and function of the chromosome. It is one of the fundamental building blocks of life and yet there is much we do not fully understand. These issues aim to address some of the unknowns in order to stimulate exciting research into these areas.

Chromatin modifiers and remodellers in DNA repair and signalling
Edited by Penelope Jeggo, Jessica Downs and Susan Gasser

Our genetic material, DNA, is constantly subject to damage from internal and externally arising agents. Maintaining the stability of our DNA is essential for cancer avoidance, for prevention of premature ageing and to ensure normal development. This issue focuses on the modifications and remodelling of chromatin after DNA damage and how these changes influence the repair of the damage.


X-chromosome inactivation: a tribute to Mary Lyon
Edited by Edith Heard and Neil Brockdorff

This issue looks at how far the field of X-inactivation has come since the great British geneticist Mary Lyon first discovered it. She proposed that to prevent any problems that would be caused by females expressing double the amount of all X-linked genes, the chromosome is silenced in early development. Exciting new developments in this rapidly evolving field have shed some light on the secrets of epigenetic regulation of the duplicate X chromosome.


Evolutionary causes and consequences of recombination rate variation in sexual organisms
Edited by Jessica Stapley, Philine Feulner, Susan Johnston, Anna Santure and Carole Smadja

Recombination, a process where DNA is chopped and then swapped between parental chromosomes, occurs in almost all forms of life. It allows for the creation of novel allelic combinations but also has the potential to remove favourable combinations. This process is highly regulated but also, counterintuitively, it can be very variable. This issue identifies key knowledge gaps, and paves the way for a more comprehensive understanding of how and why recombination rate varies.

Take a look at all the recent issues of Philosophical Transactions B or keep up to date with new content by signing up for article alerts.

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