Cell biology: Night vision

    Credit: T. LAMAN/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/GETTY

    Cell 137, 356–368 (2009)

    In most mammalian cells, densely packed DNA is situated near the perimeter of the nucleus, whereas looser regions containing more active genes cluster towards the centre. Jochen Guck of the University of Cambridge, UK, Boris Joffe at Ludwig–Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, and their colleagues found that in mouse rod cells — light-receptor cells of the eye — this arrangement is reversed.

    An analysis of 38 other mammalian species, including the colugo Galeopterus variegatus (pictured), revealed that the inverted arrangement is associated with a nocturnal lifestyle. In mouse rod cells, the arrangement seems to reduce light scattering.

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    Cell biology: Night vision. Nature 458, 948 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/458948a

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