• Question: Recently I saw the tv show 'creating synthetic life', my question is why are bacteria's chromosomes circular while ours curl up to form a kind of x shape?

    Asked by merikshadow to Andrew, Ben, Heather, Louisa on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Louisa Chard

      Louisa Chard answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      Hi Great question. ITs really just to do with size, bacteria have much much smaller genomes than us and socomaratively bigger spaces to put it into, so they can just circularise (some are linear, but most are circular), this stops tangling also. OUr genomes are much bigger and so have to be really tightly coiled around proteins to get them into the nucleus of the cells, ending up in the x structure of the chromosomes. Ask again if this doens’t make sense or you want more info.

    • Photo: Heather McKee

      Heather McKee answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      EEp!! this is definitly not my are of expertise though i think Andrew might be the many of the moment for this question or Louisa aswell!!if you have any psych, nutrition or health questions let me know-I’m off to find that programme-educate myself on the world of chromosomes-cheers!!

    • Photo: Andrew McKinley

      Andrew McKinley answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      I don’t think I know this one – I think the biologists are going to have to answer this one!

    • Photo: Ben Still

      Ben Still answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Definitely one for the biologists I am afraid.

      Although I am a big fan of Craig Venters work, it sounds like the most exciting bit of Biology around at the moment.