About ten years ago scientist thought that the human genome had 100,000 genes, those genomic fragments that are active and codify proteins, an essential activity for living. However, over the last decade the numbers have been updated and a recent study turns out that this number is much smaller, only 19,000. A team of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) shrinkes the genome to this new size and unveils that over 99% of human protein coding genes have an origin that predates primates by over 50 million years.
It has taken eight years to complete the domestic sheep genome. The research unveils unique characteristics of this animals which made them different from the others, like their fat metabolism process that is linked to their skin and wool coat. It also opens up new paths to improve the health of this livestock aiding the development of DNA testing to boost breeding programmes for farmers.
Genome sequencing is beginning to be affordable now even for current people. Sequencing-technology company Illumina has broke the 'sound barrier' of human genomics by launching a system that can generate the entire human genome for $1,000, reducing the cost by a factor of 10. This is expected to accelerate advances in research and medical diagnostics.
In a stunning technical feat, an international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of an archaic Siberian girl 31 times over, using a new method that amplifies single strands of DNA. The sequencing is so complete that researchers have as sharp a picture of this ancient genome as they would of a living person's, revealing, for example that the girl had brown eyes, hair, and skin. "No one thought we would have an archaic human genome of such quality," says Matthias Meyer, a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. "Everyone was shocked by the counts. That includes me."
That precision allows the team to compare the nuclear genome of this girl, who lived in Siberia's Denisova Cave more than 50,000 years ago, directly to the genomes of living people, producing a "near-complete" catalog of the small number of genetic changes that make us different from the Denisovans, who were close relatives of Neandertals. "This is the genetic recipe for being a modern human," says team leader Svante Pääbo, a paleogeneticist at the institute.
The tomato genome has tripled several times in a row about 60 million years ago, which would have been able to survive ice ages, as recorded an international research that has involved several Spanish research centers to reach the aim of sequence its genome. "The duplications could have saved the tomato in the last great massive extinction" that wiped out 75% of world's species, including dinosaurs, says the researcher of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants Primo Yúfera (joint center CSIC and the Valencia University) Antonio Granell, who has led the Spanish part of the job.
Unlike common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pan paniscus) seem to use sex to resolve disputes. An 18-year-old female named Ulindi has now become the first bonobo to have its genome sequenced. Scientists hope that the information gleaned will explain the stark behavioural differences between bonobos and common chimpanzees and help to identify the genetic changes that set humans apart from other apes.
Conservation genomics can be broadly defined as the use of new genomic techniques to solve problems in conservation biology. Frankham recently reviewed the current status of conservation genetics and proposed 13 priorities for development in the field. Many of these priorities have been intractable through traditional genetic techniques. Although genomic techniques are not appropriate or necessary in all cases, we believe that genomics will have an important role in addressing several research challenges over the next few years.
Genomic techniques will be more immediately applicable to some questions than to others. For example, in estimating neutral population parameters, such as effective population size, genomics simply provides a larger number of markers to an analytical and conceptual framework that is already widely used in conservation genetics. Genomic identification of functionally important genes is now common in other fields; conservation genomics can incorporate these approaches to study the genetic basis of local adaptation or inbreeding depression.
The dramatic reductions in associated costs and time to completion effectively eliminates the main factors that once restricted genome sequencing to a few model organisms
Whole genome sequencing has traditionally been hampered by the enormous amount of money and effort involved. The estimated cost of the human genome project was around 2.700 million dollars and the project required more than ten years to be completed.
The newly deciphered genome of the hairless, underground-dwelling, long-lived and cancer-resistant naked mole rat could help researchers unravel the creature's secrets, and may help improve human health along the way.
The sequencing of the human genome by the end of the 20th century was undoubtedly a great scientific milestone that opened a new phase full of promises and challenges, the era of genomics.
Genomics means cutting-edge technology. It started with the reading of the 3,000 million letters which forms the human genome ten years ago. This developement opened a new world of possibilities and oportunities for the biological, medical and evolutionary sciences.
A decade of exponential technological progress has dramatically reduced the cost of whole genome sequencing, removing the main restriction for non-model species. The giant panda genome was assembled in 2010 and here's a current proporsal to sequence more than 10.000 species to study vertebrate evolution.