A ground-breaking comparative genomics study appears online today in the journal Genome Research. Led by Adam Siepel, graduate student in Dr. David Hausslers laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study describes the most comprehensive comparison of conserved DNA sequences in the genomes of vertebrates, insects, worms, and yeast to date.
One of their major findings was that as organism complexity increases, so too does the proportion of conserved bases in the non-protein-coding (or "junk") DNA sequences. This underscores the importance of gene regulation in more complex species.
The manuscript also reports exciting biological findings regarding highly conserved DNA elements and the development of a new computational tool for comparing several whole-genome sequences. It was authored by multiple investigators from leading research institutions, including Penn State University (University Park, PA), Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO), Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX), and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Maria A. Smit | EurekAlert!
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