On this day in 1975…

Science published the paper “DNA modification mechanisms and gene activity during development” by Robin Holliday and John Pugh. In this paper, Holliday and Pugh identify the place of 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC) in base pair transitions, proposing that this methylation could play an important role in the stability or instability of cell type differentiation through the switching on and off of genes critical in development. In their conclusion, Holliday and Pugh suggest their model could extend the Nobel prize-winning work of Barbara McClintock on the transposition of genetic elements.

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