- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- State declares test results for schools invalid (10/4/17)2
- Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody (10/12/17)
- Cape Chinese restaurant purchases old Ponderosa property in Perryville (10/10/17)
- One of Cape's oldest mom-and-pop restaurants opens in new location (10/10/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- Ships to stay docked in Cape a week longer (10/10/17)
- Janet Koenig creates painted quilts to add flair to local barns (10/13/17)
Pufferfish helps sort out 'junk' DNA
WASHINGTON -- Sequencing the genes of the pufferfish is yielding clues to the more complex human genetic makeup.
While pufferfish, or fugu, is a delicacy in Japan, it has interested scientists because it has the smallest genome of any vertebrate.
In sequencing its genome, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif., discovered that the pufferfish has about the same number of genes as humans, but without most of the repetitive so-called "junk" DNA that fills out the human genome.
That helps scientists identify genes that are obscured by the repetitive sequences in the human genome, researchers said.
By comparing the human and pufferfish genomes, the researchers said they have been able to predict the existence of about 1,000 human genes that had not been previously identified.
The functions of these hypothetical genes are not yet known, but being able to sort them out from the junk DNA is a step to determining what they do, the researchers said.
Dr. Samuel Aparicio of Cambridge University in England noted that when the puffer and human genomes were compared, researchers found 961 cases where there was a match in the human that didn't overlap an already predicted or known gene.