Thursday, April 7, 2011

Genetic Rearrangement in Mice


A study was done in mice to find hotspots of genetic recombination, which is places in the DNA that break and reorganize to create new genes. The ultimate goal of the study was to find out how the recombination of genes affected the rest of the genome of an organism. Their findings are significant in that this may help to show how detecting certain genes can be linked to some diseases or it can also help in detecting abnormalities within the genes.


The scientists used mice in the experiment and created one of the first maps of these genes for a multi-cellular organism. In order to create this map, researchers combined small pieces of DNA they took from the mice that were going through the process of recombination at that time. The map showed that the rearrangement of the chromosomes in the gene has the potential to make each cell identical, which would pose a problem. Using this map, the researchers hope to be able to determine how these abnormalities occur.


The map provided the researchers with green colors, symbolizing the chromosomes, and red colors, symbolizing areas where the chromosomes were most likely going to break apart. These colors displayed to the researchers where variations and abnormalities could occur within the DNA. Even though this study was done in mice, it will be beneficial for humans when determining where certain mutations and abnormalities come from within a gene.


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