New Understanding of Human DNA

Posted on November 23, 2006  Comments (4)

Very interesting Genetic breakthrough that reveals the differences between humans (bozo website broke the link – poor usability):

The discovery has astonished scientists studying the human genome – the genetic recipe of man. Until now it was believed the variation between people was due largely to differences in the sequences of the individual ” letters” of the genome.

It now appears much of the variation is explained instead by people having multiple copies of some key genes that make up the human genome.

Until now it was assumed that the human genome, or “book of life”, is largely the same for everyone, save for a few spelling differences in some of the words. Instead, the findings suggest that the book contains entire sentences, paragraphs or even whole pages that are repeated any number of times.

Fascinating information that I must admit I am still trying to grok.

The studies published today have found that instead of having just two copies of each gene – one from each parent – people can carry many copies, but just how many can vary between one person and the next.

The studies suggest variations in the number of copies of genes is normal and healthy. But the scientists also believe many diseases may be triggered by an abnormal loss or gain in the copies of some key genes.

It will be very interesting to see how this understanding develops.

Related: Humans show major DNA differencesWe’re more different than thought, genome map revealsOld Viruses Resurrected Through DNANational Geographic overview of human geneticsScientists crack 40-year-old DNA puzzleWhere Bacteria Get Their Genes

4 Responses to “New Understanding of Human DNA”

  1. CuriousCat: DNA Repair Army
    May 31st, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

    […] “Specifically, the group looked to see which proteins in the cell were chemically altered by the enzymes ATM and ATR, finding 900 sites on 700 proteins that changed in response to DNA damage. The discovery that so many proteins are involved in the process, Elledge said, was a big surprise.” […]

  2. CuriousCat: Species Genome Discovered Inside Another Species
    September 13th, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

    “Scientists at the University of Rochester and the J. Craig Venter Institute have discovered a copy of the genome of a bacterial parasite residing inside the genome of its host species…”

  3. CuriousCat: Micro RNA Editing
    November 25th, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

    “RNA editing is thought to be just one way that humans get more out of their 30,000 genes than, say, a fruit fly does with 13,600 or a roundworm does with 19,100…”

  4. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Variation in Human DNA
    June 13th, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    […] New Understanding of Human DNA – Opossum Genome Shows ‘Junk’ DNA is Not Junk – Bacteria Can Transfer Genes […]

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