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Most of the DNA in the genome of a higher organism does not code for genes, but is made up of repetitious sequences, some potentially harmful. Much of this DNA is packaged with chromosomal proteins in heterochromatin, a form of DNA packaging that promotes silencing. Working with the fruit fly Drosophila, Sarah's lab identified a key protein, HP1 (Heterochromatin Protein 1), and is working to understand the process of heterochromatin formation.