All of the different cells within an individual share the same genome, whereas epigenetic variations underlie the plasticity in gene expression from the stem cells that differentiate during development, repair, and aging. Beyond differences in covalent and noncovalent modifications of chromatin between different cell types, there are also lineage-relevant variations in the structure proteins of the nuclear envelope called lamins that contribute to chromatin organization and even transcription factor localization. Here we focus on imaging these various molecular factors with the relevant optical microscopy in the context of multiple methods for physically manipulating nuclei.
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