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Scott Keeney wants to understand how chromosomal recombination during meiotic cell division works, including how it is regulated to occur just at the right time and in the right place. Working with yeast and mice as model organisms, Keeney and his team are examining the molecular details of how cells repair the double-stranded DNA breaks that initiate the exchange of genetic information between homologous chromosomes. Identifying the basic mechanisms underlying recombination will help determine how the process fails in conditions such as Down syndrome and some forms of cancer.