From The Scientist :
Hi-C yielded a dizzying array of contacts between different regions of the genome. The researchers used algorithms to determine the genome’s structure. Defining loops as regions of DNA demarcated by two loci that were more frequently in contact with one another than with other loci in between them, the researchers broke the genome down the into contact domains—regions of the genome in which loci tend to interact with each more than with other genomic regions. In many cases, contact domains are contained within loops.
“The contents of the loop tends to interact with itself,” explained study coauthor Suhas Rao, a researcher at the Center for Genome Architecture. Loci within contact domains also tend to have relatively uniform histone modifications. Finally, the researchers found that the genome can be divided into at least six subcompartments, or regions that segregate into similar sectors of the nucleus.
Altogether, the team identified around 10,000 loops—far fewer than previously estimated. “I was shocked, frankly speaking, when I saw that number,” said Ren, who himself once estimated that there were more than 1 million loops in the human genome.
“I think much depends on how you define a loop,” said Giacomo Cavalli, who studies chromatin and cell biology at the Institute of Human Genetics in Montpellier, France, and was not involved in the study.
And whether it is all just a big accident depends on how you define a big accident.
The question that comes to the fore is precisely the one the ID theorists raise: Can pure randomness create highly specified information, neatly compressed, as we are instructed to believe?
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