MOUSE GENE ENCYCLOPAEDIA PROJECT: CHAPTER 1
Finding genes in the often scrambled, repetitive mess of most large genome sequences is tricky. One way of doing this is to collect the messenger RNA strands produced when a gene is expressed, and to clone their complementary DNA strands. Sequencing these cDNA strands helps clarify the function of the gene they represent.
This week, such a collection of mice cDNA strands is analysed by an international consortium coordinated by Yoshihide Hayashizaki of the RIKEN Genomic Sciences Centre, Kanagawa, Japan (Nature, Vol. 409, No. 6821, 08 Feb 2001). The groups held a workshop to try and work out what some 20,000 collected mouse cDNA strands actually do, by comparing them with each other and with known genes in other species.
They found, for example, over 100 new genes representing metabolic enzymes and ten that seem very similar to genes causing human diseases. The results should help researchers to use both the mouse and human genome sequences.
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