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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 62

by Professor C. Nicolini, University, Genova (Italy)

From June 13 - June 23, 1996, the 2nd EL.B.A. Foundation course on Genome, a NATO Advanced Study Institute, was held at Marcian Marina, Isle of Elba, co-sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EL.B.A. Foundation. The subject of the course was "Genome Structure and Function" with participants selected from 15 different countries. The purpose of the course and of the resulting book (NATO ASI SERIES 3-31) is the study of DNA structure (from the primary to the quinternary) and gene expression in the control of cell function and well cycle progression. The topics were presented by experts and scientists active in the field, with the aim of giving an insight into modern problems of genome study and recent achievements in related fields of molecular and cell biology, genetic engineering and biophysics, oncology and biotechnology. This resulting book is intended to give a broad perspective of the current status of these fields. The major emphasis is towards a deep understanding of DNA structure anmd function in interphase and metaphase chromosomes, originating in the parallel biophysical (namely NMR X-Ray and neutron scattering, spectropolarimetry, image analysis, calorimetry) and biochemical study conducted on a wide range of cell systems placing the emphasis on either the higher order DNA structure or gene structure and function. To exemplify the importance of genome studies for practical applications, the book also addresses the industrial utilization of recombinant DNA in agriculture and health, and the novel or non-conventional instrumentation for the study of DNA isolated or in situ (scanning probe microscopy, synchrotron radiation, biosensors, LB trough, silicon chip). The topics cover multiple aspects of genome studies, ranging from gene regulation, transcriptional control of cell cycle, domain organization of the genome, to large scale chromatin structure, structual studies of chromatin up to tumorigenesis and plant gene technology.

The book is the result of this Advanced Study Institute and is the thirteenth of a series, which began with "Chromatin Structure and Function" in 1978. The series of volumes was edited or occasionally coedited by myself as Director and published mostly by Plenum within the NATO ASI Life Science Series and partly by other publishers. This present book represents an update along the major trends of the series with its interdisciplinary approach to the genome structure and function. I wish to express my gratitude to Kostantin Skryabin for his active coleadership in the planning and conduction of the course at Marciana Marina, to Sergey Vakula and Paolo Occhialini for their invaluable and critical cooperation prior, during and after the Institute and publication of this volume and to Fabrizio Nozza for the typing and editional assistance of these proceedings.
Reference books: 3-31, A21, A38, A52, A97, A98, A107, A183, A209, E133,

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