Sequencing method yields fuller picture
Sequence data for both chromosomes can be inferred under the right circumstances, USC biologists say.
University of Southern California biologists have developed a method for sequencing both chromosomes of an organism.
Their study appears in a recent issue of Genome Research.
The statistical method is significant because when researchers announce they have sequenced an organism’s genome, they really mean that they have created a mosaic of two chromosomes, said USC computational biologist Lei Li.
“A mosaic means it’s not real,” Li said.
Lead author and former graduate student Jong Hyun Kim, advised by Li and USC University Professor Michael Waterman, was able to infer a complete sequence of the chromosomes of Ciona intestinalis, a marine invertebrate, from existing sequencing data.
Kim’s method exploited the high rate of genetic mutations in the organism. Other organisms with high genetic variability, such as certain fish, also may be suitable.
Because the human genome has a relatively low mutation rate, the method cannot be applied to people.
However, Kim said, the method might be useful in sequencing parts of the human genome that display high variability.
As a by-product of their analysis, the researchers added to growing evidence that so-called junk DNA may have a function after all.
Recent studies have shown that junk DNA expresses proteins which may regulate gene function, and that sections of junk DNA have been highly conserved during evolution, suggesting that they play an important role.
The Genome Research study confirms that many short sections of junk DNA are highly conserved, Li and Kim said.
Carl Marziali | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...