Epigenetics Express: Tracking DNA Methylation in Real Time


Yuelin Song, Rudolf Jaenisch


Yuelin Song, Rudolf Jaenisch
Whitehead Institute and Koch Institute at MIT

How do genetically identical cells give rise to diverse tissue types? The Jaenisch Lab studies the epigenetic mechanisms that determine if and when genes are expressed in a cell, leading to variations in gene activity.

In this 3D image of developing cells, different colors represent different activation states of an epigenetic process—DNA methylation—that suppresses gene activity. Analyzing epigenetic changes in real time across complex tissues and cell types at high resolution helps researchers understand how cells develop, and what goes wrong in cancer and other diseases.


Yuelin Song shares the story behind her image at the exhibit opening ceremony on March 20, 2019.