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Nucleic acids and chromatin

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This free course, Nucleic acids and chromatin, helps you to understand the properties of nucleotides and how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level. You will learn about the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell, their interactions with each other and the use of ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization as tools in molecular research. The course covers the function of DNA packaging within the cell, the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome and it helps you understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus.

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • define and use each of the terms printed in bold in the text;
  • understand the properties of nucleotides, how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level, and how torsional states are maintained in cellular DNA;
  • understand the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell and their interactions with each other and with agents that cause DNA damage;
  • describe the use of nucleic acids as tools in molecular research, including ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization tools;
  • understand the function of DNA packaging within the cell and use examples to illustrate how packaging is achieved in various organisms;
  • describe in detail the protein components of the nucleosome and key modifications to nucleosome components, and understand the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome;
  • understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus – their degrees of compaction and the hierarchy of chromatin assembly.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Tuesday 18th March 2014
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Biology
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Nucleic acids and chromatin

Introduction

Unit image

This unit helps you understand the properties of nucleotides and how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level. You will learn about the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell, their interactions with each other and the use of ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization as tools in molecular research. The unit covers the function of DNA packaging within the cell, the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome and it helps you understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus.

The full Open University course from which this material is selected contains components, such as molecular modelling activities, which are not represented on OpenLearn

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course S377 Molecular and cell biology [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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