Capturing genomic relationships that matter.

There is a strong interrelationship within the cell nucleus between form and function of the genome. This connection is exhibited across multiple hierarchies, ranging from grand-scale positioning of chromosomes and their intersection with specific nuclear functional activities, the segregation of chromosome structure into distinct domains and long-range regulatory contacts that drive spatial and temporal expression patterns of genes. Fifteen years ago, the development of the chromosome conformation capture method placed the nature of specific, long-range regulatory interactions under scrutiny. However, its development and integration with next-generation sequencing technologies has greatly expanded the breadth and scope of what is detected. The sheer scale of data offered by these important advances has come with new and challenging bottlenecks that are both experimental and bioinformatical. Here, we discuss the recent and prospective development and implementation of new methodologies and analytical tools that are allowing an in-depth, yet focussed characterisation of genomic contacts that are associated with functional activities in the nucleus.

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