Recombination between Alu elements results in genomic deletions associated with many human genetic disorders.
In an article published in the July 2006 issue of American Journal of Human Genetics, Sen, Han, et al. compare the reference human and chimpanzee genomes to determine the magnitude of this recombination process in the human lineage since the human-chimpanzee divergence about 6 million years ago.
Overall, they found that Alu recombination-mediated genomic deletion has had a much higher impact than was inferred from previously identified isolated events and that it continues to contribute to the dynamic nature of the human genome.
Mark A. Batzer
Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Computation and Visualization Center, Center for BioModular Multi-Scale Systems, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Abstract available online.
(C) American Journal of Human Genetics.
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