The New Mexico IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NM-INBRE) and the National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) has announced announced the 11th annual New Mexico Bioinformatics, Science and Technology (NMBIST) symposium to be held March 17-18, 2016 at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The symposium will cover cutting-edge advances in epigenomics, RNA machinery, and single-cell omics. Cells use multiple mechanisms to turn genes on and off, allowing an organism to develop, function and respond to its environment. While cells contain the same genetic information they use sophisticated controls to specialize (e.g., as a heart, brain, or eye cell). They can add chemical tags to DNA to influence gene expression without affecting the gene's "code." Studying these tags and the resulting gene expression patterns is termed epigenomics. Another mechanism for regulation is through the machinery that interacts with genes and their expressed copies (messenger RNA). This machinery, itself made primarily from RNA and/or protein, includes the ribosome, which converts messenger RNA into protein, small and long non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, the spliceosome, which joins together RNA segments from the same gene in different arrangements to create a variety of proteins, and the exosome that eliminates RNAs that are defective or no longer needed and/or tranfers informational molecules from one region of the body to another. The results of gene regulation include cells that can be highly differentiated despite being in the same tissue or even adjacent to each other. Recent technological advances have enabled the sequencing of tiny amounts of DNA and RNA, allowing researchers to sequence a single cell and elucidate its unique properties.
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