Saturday, August 10, 2002

Another reason why chimpanzees are not good models for our diseases....


CWRU scientists help identify DNA 'hot spots'
Michaela Saunders
Plain Dealer Reporter

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University and Celera Genomics have identified 169 "unstable" regions of the body's genetic blueprint that may cause inherited diseases....

The research centers on repetitions of the genes that determine how cells carry out billions of tasks necessary for life. Some duplications are believed to have spurred human evolution, but others are responsible for deadly diseases.

The human genome consists of about 3 billion base pairs of DNA. The identified "hot spots" make up about 5 percent, Eichler said. Our genetic map is similar to the chimpanzee's, except for these "hot spots," where the genome has the potential to change rapidly. That ability to change is good for evolution, but bad for disease....