Chromatin outside the cell: the new paradigm in biology | Abstract

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Biology Research


Chromatin outside the cell: the new paradigm in biology

Indraneel Mittra

Since the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953, “DNA inside the nucleus” has been the dominant biological paradigm which has spawned the complex science of molecular biology and genomics. Although this reductionist approach has been a commercial success, produced an enormous quantity of information and given us intricate insights into cellular functioning, it has provided little understanding of human health and disease and to that extent has been largely unproductive. This is primarily because this DNA-centric molecular approach has entirely ignored physiology. We know now that there is a huge amount of DNA in the form of extra-cellular cell-free chromatin (cfCh) that exists in the extracellular compartment of the body, including in circulation, that is derived from the billions of cells that die in the body every day