Off and on

THE chemical switch that silences genes can be flicked back to the “on” position, contrary to what most biochemists believed. Attaching a methyl group to DNA prevents a gene from being expressed. Researchers thought this process was irreversible, but Moshe Szyf and his colleagues at McGill University in Montreal have isolated an enzyme from human lung cancer cells that removes the methyl group (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 96,
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