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B. Scientists Identify A 'Master' Molecule in the Cell Nucleus

Narrator: This is Science Today. A 'master' molecule in the cell nucleus that affects enzymes and controls hundreds of different genes has been identified by University of California, San Francisco scientists. Researcher Erin O'Shea says although their findings are based on studies of yeast, this same molecule is present in all higher organisms - including humans.

O'Shea: Why is it that there are proteins that are related between these two very different organisms? I think that the similarity in the protein simply reflects the underlying similarity in the organization of the cell and the fundamental cell biological processes - like DNA replication, like cell division.

Narrator: The fact that this 'master' molecule controls activities like cell division and transcription is especially exciting because those same actions are involved in cancer.

O'Shea: So one avenue we're pursuing is trying to understand the details - the mechanism of how this molecule really controls the transcriptional process.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.