Humans are not 'peas in a pod' says a study

by Monisha on  November 23, 2006 at 2:41 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News   - G J E 4
Humans are  not 'peas in a pod' says a study
Individuals greatly differ from one another inspite of there superficial similarity in structure and function. Its the genetic blue-print that differentiates one from another. A recent study done by international researchers have tapped into information that helps to understand how massive these differences are, in reality. The new studies will help to take huge strides in the field of medical genetics.

Scientists claim that DNA can vary in whole chunks from one individual to another. The genetic variations have now been mapped. Also a very sophisticated tool has been developed, which should definitely help to track down the genetic differences that cause a person to be more susceptible to certain diseases.

Earlier scientists believed in a shared genetic profile but with the recent advances in genetic information they are they are able to comprehend the chasm of difference in genetic profile. This was not known two years ago opined Dr. Stephen Scherer, director of Toronto based, Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children. He is also the co-principal investigator of this study. Scientists world over can now clearly re-focus their studies to understand diseases, both common and rare, from a genetic perspective.

Using highly refined technology, researchers have been able to decode certain genetic information from individuals, they found out that instead of just two pairs of genes, one from each parent, very often individuals have multiple copies of genes and at times have missing genes in the gene pool. Such extra genes or absent genes in the genetic blueprint has been named 'copy number variations'(CNV).

The latest analysis has confirmed that the genetic variation from one person to another is almost 12%. The human genome, also called the 'Book of Life' consists of many letters like a regular book. The human genome consists of over 3 billion letters and about 30,000 genes can be compared to pages of a book with around 100,000 letters each. Earlier it was understood that variations between individuals was seen owing to changes in individual letters that altered the word spelling. The recent studies show that apart from the the variations in individual letters variations also occurs as addition and deletion of sentences and paragraphs in the human genome.

This work was published this week in 'Nature' and journals associated with the same publication.

Source: Medindia

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