Take a look around you, each living being you come into contact with is formed of a multitude of specialised cells that have unique functions within our bodies. An entire sequence of an individual’s DNA, known as the genome, is found inside each of these cells, with the exception of red blood cells. With between 20,000 and 25,000 genes in the human genome, how does each type of cell direct how its genes are used so that it can function appropriately?
In the 2015 Francis Crick Lecture Professor Rob Klose will explore the science behind this, discussing how small chemical additions to DNA and chromosomes can change the way DNA information is used without disrupting the DNA sequence itself. The pattern of these modifications, collectively known as the epigenome, differs between cells, and when disrupted can lead to human disease. While these modifications may be small, they have the capability to have a big effect on the function of our genes and can work in combination with our genome to shape who we are.
In his lecture Professor Klose will also touch on why understanding how the epigenome functions within our cells is of interest as a potential target for new therapies for diseases such as cancer. Join Professor Rob Klose at the Royal Society on Wednesday 2 December for the Francis Crick Lecture to hear about this and more. For further information about this event visit the event webpage.