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Why is model organism research important? Why do we care what diseases mice get? How closely related are mice and humans? How many genes are the same? What are knockout mice? Why are mice used in this research? What genomes have been sequenced completely? What are the comparative genome sizes of humans and other organisms being studied? More Information

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What is functional genomics?

Understanding the function of genes and other parts of the Ethical, Legal, genome is known as functional genomics. The Human Social Issues Genome Project was just the first step in understanding Home Privacy Legislation humans at the molecular level. Though the project is Gene Testing complete, many questions still remain unanswered, Patenting including the function of most of the estimated 30,000 Forensics
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Education Teachers Careers Students Webcasts Audio/Video Images Videos Chromosome Poster Presentations Genetics 101 Genética Websites en Español What is comparative genomics? How does it relate to functional genomics? Comparative genomics is the analysis and comparison of genomes from different species. Your Choices List of All Publications Search This Site Why is model organism research important? Why do we care what diseases mice get? Contact Us Privacy Statement Site Stats and Credits Functional genomics research is conducted using model organisms such as mice. Research Home Sequencing Instrumentation Mapping Bioinformatics Functional Genomics ELSI Research Recent Abstracts US. roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. see the tutorial Sequence similarity searching using NCBI BLAST available through Gene Gateway. BLAST is a set of programs designed to perform similarity searches on all available sequence data.Intl. fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. and highly conserved regions maintained in organisms as simple as bacteria and as complex as humans. and laboratory . Genome researchers look at many different features when comparing genomes: sequence similarity. and genetic disorders.or the role of noncoding regions and repeats in the genome.Food Behavioral Genetics Minorities. Some of these sequencesimilarity tools are accessible to the public over the Internet. gene location. an online guide for learning about genes. Comparative genomics involves the use of computer programs that can line up multiple genomes and look for regions of similarity among them. the length and number of coding regions (called exons) within genes. which is available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Researchers also don't know the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) --single DNA base changes within the genome-. Some model organisms studied in the HGP were the bacterium Escherichia coli. The purpose is to gain a better understanding of how species have evolved and to determine the function of genes and noncoding regions of the genome. yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. One of the most widely used is BLAST. proteins. Model organisms offer a costeffective way to follow the inheritance of genes (that are very similar to human genes) through many generations in a relatively short time. Researchers have learned a great deal about the function of human genes by examining their counterparts in simpler model organisms such as the mouse. Race. Research Sites Funding Publications Human Genome News Chromosome Poster Primer Molecular Genetics To Know Ourselves Your Genes. the amount of noncoding DNA in each genome. For instructions on how to use BLAST. Genetics Genetics in Courtroom human genes.

For more information see HGN 11 (1-2) "Public. What really matters is that subtle changes accumulated in each of . Since gene duplication is an ongoing process. many duplicated genes remain active and over time may change enough to perform a new function. I believe the number of human genes without a clear mouse counterpart.about 3 billion base pairs. HGN 8 (1) "Third Branch of Life Confirmed". California. the most significant differences between mice and humans are not in the number of genes each carries but in the structure of genes and the activities of their protein products. we are very similar to mice. most or all mammals including dogs. These appear to make up a small percentage of the total genes. The exceptions generally appear to be of a particular type --genes that arise when an existing sequence is duplicated. Nevertheless. sometimes the duplicated copies degenerate to the point where they no longer are capable of encoding a protein. mice may have active duplicates that humans do not possess. and vice versa. these novel genes may play an important role in determining species-specific traits and functions. and vice versa. Private Sectors Join in Mouse Consortium". Gene for gene. Mice and humans (indeed. cats. However. HGP spinoffs have led to genetic analysis of other environmentally and industrially important organisms in the United States and abroad. and for the most part we see essentially a one-to-one correspondence between genes in the two species. and indeed our work and the work of many others have provided evidence to confirm that notion.mouse. rabbits. won't be significantly larger than 1% of the total. This comparable DNA content implies that all mammals contain more or less the same number of genes. Gene duplication occurs frequently in complex genomes. However. Livermore. How closely related are mice and humans? How many genes are the same? Answer provided by Lisa Stubbs of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. and HGN 7 (3-4) "Microbial Genomes Sequenced". and apes) have roughly the same number of nucleotides in their genomes -. I know of only a few cases in which no mouse counterpart can be found for a particular human gene. monkeys. Additionally.

000 estimated genes. these events do not always occur in an identical way in the two species.. quite a few genes probably are not common to humans and apes. with an average of 85% similarity but a lot of variation from gene to gene (e. while others are nearly unrecognizable as close relatives). A gene can produce more or less protein in different cells at various times in response to developmental or environmental cues. but probably only a relatively small percentage. The often-quoted statement that we share over 98% of our genes with apes (chimpanzees. and these may influence uniquely human or ape traits. That is. Single nucleotide changes have been linked to hereditary differences in height. due to single nucleotide changes. would introduce changes that could substantially alter what the protein does. pigmentation. and many proteins can express disparate functions in various biological contexts. Some nucleotide changes are “neutral” and do not yield a significantly altered protein. subtle distinctions are multiplied by the more than 30.the approximately 30.) Similarities between mouse and human genes range from about 70% to 90%. A single nucleotide difference can alter protein function in such a way that it causes a terrible tissue malfunction. or breast cancer. cystic fibrosis. facial structure. In addition. a gene can produce more than one protein product through alternative splicing or post-translational modification. there is more than 95% to 98% similarity between related genes in humans and apes in general. some mouse and human gene products are almost identical. and many other striking morphological differences. genes and proteins interact in complex ways that multiply the functions of each. and a mouse's tail can disappear completely. gorillas. Single-nucleotide changes in the same genes but in different positions in the coding sequence might do nothing harmful at all. Evolutionary changes are the same as these sequence differences that are linked to person-toperson variation: many of the average 15% nucleotide . Others. brain development.000 genes add together to make quite different organisms. Further. Thus. (Just as in the mouse. and orangutans) actually should be put another way.g. hands can develop structures that look like toes instead of fingers. Put these alterations in the context of known inherited human diseases: a single nucleotide change can lead to inheritance of sickle cell disease.

Subsequent offspring will inherit not only the instructions coded by their original mouse genome. Instead of creating merely the mouse equivalent of the human gene. as evidenced by the huge range of metabolic. Knockout mice have many benefits. and can be genetically manipulated at the molecular level. Add them all together. some lead to subtle changes. but they also aid scientists in testing new drugs and devising novel therapies.changes that distinguish humans and mouse genes are neutral. whereas others are associated with dramatic differences. but also the traits coded for by the inserted human DNA. the . and they can make quite an impact. the bacterium Escherichia coli. They not only allow researchers to determine gene function and understand diseases at the molecular level. This helps researchers understand health and disease by observing how genes work in cells. are inexpensive and easy to handle. They also reproduce rapidly. These mice are then bred --creating a population of offspring with the trait. they can create knockout mice with these genes and observe the results. morphological. Why are mice used in this research? Mice are genetically very similar to humans. numerous other genomes have been sequenced. researchers target specific genes --causing them to be expressed or inactivated. What genomes have been sequenced completely? In addition to the human genome. These include the mouse Mus musculus. have short life spans. What are knockout mice? How will they help us determine human gene function? Knockout mice are transgenic mice whose genetic code has been altered by the insertion of foreign genetic material into their DNA. the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Using this technology. the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. researchers are able to reproduce and express actual human genes and their corresponding proteins in mice. When researchers isolate human genes with unknown functions. and behavioral differences we see among organisms.

Comprehensive Microbial Resource -.A resource from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) for accessing information about completed and in-progress genomes. the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Other resources for information on sequenced genomes: • GOLD -.Genomes Online Database provides comprehensive access to information regarding complete and ongoing genome projects around the world. From The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. and several microbes. Entrez Genome -. • • What are the comparative genome sizes of humans and other organisms being studied? .A tool that allows the researcher to access all of the bacterial genome sequences completed to date. For a complete listing see A Quick Guide to Sequenced Genomes from the Genome News Network.

000 bases 1 gene per 4000 bases 1 gene per 5000 bases 1 gene per 2000 bases 1 gene per 1400 bases 1 gene per 1000 bases 40 8 25. .000 bases 1 gene per 100.000 42 1 gene per ~30.500 10 Caenorhabdit 97 million is elegans bases (roundworm) Saccharomyc 12 million es cerevisiae bases (yeast) Escherichia coli (bacteria) H. influenzae (bacteria) 4.750 million bases 2500 million bases 180 million bases 125 million bases ~30.000 100. Genome size does not correlate with evolutionary status.100 12 6300 32 3200 1 1700 1 *Information extracted from genome publication papers below.8 million bases 19.7 million bases 1.600 1 gene per 9.000 1 gene per 100.organism estimate averag chromosom estimate d e gene e d size gene density number number 2900 million bases 2.000 bases 46 Homo sapiens (human) Rattus norvegicus (rat) Mus musculus (mouse) Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) Arabidopsis thaliana (plant) ~30.000 bases 13.

The complete genome sequence of Escherichia coli K-12. Bacteria . Life with 6000 genes. 277: 1453-1474. Goffeau. Adams.First Mutlicellular Eukaryote Sequenced The C.E. 428: 493-521. The genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster. influenzae . 420: 520 -562. (5 December 2002) [Full Text] Fruit Fly M.Genome sequence of the nematode C. Science. Science. elegans Sequencing Consortium.First Free-living Organism . Nature 408: 796-815. (25 October 1996) 274: 546. et al. D. Analysis of the genome sequence of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Blattner.First Plant Sequenced The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative. Genome Publication Papers Human International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium. (15 February 2001) [ Full Text] Rat Rat Genome Sequencing Project Consortium. Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome. (1 April 2004) [Full Text Mouse Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium. Initial sequencing and comparative analysis of the mouse genome. et al. 563-7. R.H. Science. (14 December 2000) Roundworm . Nature. Yeast A. Science. et al. (11 December 1998) 282: 2012-8. (5 September 1997) Bacteria . coli F. Nature. Genome Sequence of the Brown Norway Rat Yields Insights into Mammalian Evolution. elegans: A platform for investigating biology.nor is the number of genes proportionate with genome size. Nature. 409: 860-921. (24 March 2000) 287: 2185-95. Arabidopsis .

D. Department of Energy researchers developing and exploiting new technologies as a means for discovering and characterizing the basic principles and relationships underlying living systems. Microbial Genome Program . Whole-genome random sequencing and assembly of Haemophilus influenzae Rd. DOE Joint Genome Institute .More technical information Of mice and men (36k GIF) on HGP involvement with comparative and functional genomics. NCBI Entrez Genomes Browse the genomes of model organisms with MapViewer and other genome resources from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Virtual Library of Genetics . (28 July 1995) 269: 496-512.U. • • • • • • Homo sapiens Genome View (human) Mus musculus Genome View (mouse) Drosophila melanogaster Genome View (fruit fly) Arabidopsis thaliana Genome View (plant) Caenorhabditis elegans Genome View (roundworm) Saccharomyces cerevisiae Genome View (baker's yeast) More Information Related Web Sites • Functional and Comparative Genomics Research . Science.S.Consortium of U. et al. • • • . Fleischmann. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to use NCBI MapViwer to view the human genome see Finding a gene on a chromosome be Sequenced R.Links to genetic and genomic information organized by organism.S. Department of Energy program to study the genetic material of microbes that may be useful in helping DOE fulfill its missions.

• A Quick Guide to Sequenced Genomes . The Mighty Mouse . and Medicine .Poster available from the DOE Joint Genome Institute. a publication of the American Chemical Society. 2002.Gateway to functional genomics sources from Science. Mouse Genome Resources .Learn about mouse genetics and the statistics behind the inheritance of red eyes • .Narrative from To Know Ourselves (1996). 1999). Functional Genomics .Article from the Physiological Genomics (July 15. Functional Genomics Articles from Human Genome News Functional Genomics: Technological Challenges and Opportunities . From the Genome News Network. • • • • • • Other Resources • Genomics: The Human Genome and Beyond .Gateway to mouse resources in and beyond National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) resources. Model Organisms for Biomedical Research Information on model organisms from the National Institutes of Health.Article from the ORNL Review (1999). 2002). issue of Nature. Interactive Mouse Genetics from Explore Learning . Of Mice. Mysteries of Life: From Molecules to Mice .Article from the ORNL Review (1999). Ecce homology: A primer on comparative genomics From Modern Drug Discovery. Why You Can Read This — And Why the Chimp Can't-from USA Today (April 14.Illustrated index of organisms that have had their genomes sequenced. Monitors. • • • • Articles • Comparative Genomics: The Mouse That Roared Article from the December 5.

M.S. Heyer. Requires free Shockwave plug-in. Office of Biological and Environmental Research. • Graphic .J.ornl. Send the url of this page to a friend • • • To read pdf files. Proteomics. and Bioinformatics by A.Using Mice to Understand Human Gene Function.Mouse-human homology. 252 pp. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2003). Graphic . Last modified: Friday. Graphic . From the HGP Image Gallery. Discovering Genomics. Human Genome Program . Department of Energy Office of Science. download the free Acrobat Reader Site sponsored by the U.Researcher and mouse. 2005 Home * Contacts * Disclaimer Base URL: www. Campbell and L. November 18.and black fur.