Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Your Genome

Most people are familiar with the word genome. It refers to your complete set of genetic information encoded within 23 pairs of chromosomes in the cell nucleus and the 25,000 to 30,000 genes on them. A chromosome is a single piece of coiled DNA, a biomolecule that holds the blueprint for how you were built; 99% of all your DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in your body is found in your chromosomes (and in the 25,000-30,000 genes on your chromosomes). For over 40 years it has been assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made. According to Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. New findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways. More tomorrow.

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