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Honey Bee Genome Analyzed

 
  November, 6 2006 19:58
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A research consortium, supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the publication of a high-quality draft genome sequence of the western honey bee, finding that its genome is more similar to humans than any insect sequenced thus far.

The honey bee’s social behavior makes it an important model for understanding how genes regulate behavior through the development of the brain and central nervous system. That may lead to important insights into common mental and brain disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the bee genome may also provide an important window into immunity and aging.

In a paper published in the Oct. 26 issue of Nature , the Honey Bee Genome Consortium, led by Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM-HGSC) in Houston, describes the approximately 260 million DNA base pair genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Over 40 other companion manuscripts describing further detailed analyses are in current issues of Insect Molecular Biology, Genome Research, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and other journals.


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