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What is functional genomics? What is comparative genomics? How does it relate to functional genomics?
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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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Genetics Genetics in Courtroom human genes. One of the most widely used is BLAST. and highly conserved regions maintained in organisms as simple as bacteria and as complex as humans. Some model organisms studied in the HGP were the bacterium Escherichia coli. Researchers have learned a great deal about the function of human genes by examining their counterparts in simpler model organisms such as the mouse. proteins. roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Comparative genomics involves the use of computer programs that can line up multiple genomes and look for regions of similarity among them. fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. an online guide for learning about genes. 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. the length and number of coding regions (called exons) within genes.Intl. yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. the amount of noncoding DNA in each genome. Research Home Sequencing Instrumentation Mapping Bioinformatics Functional Genomics ELSI Research Recent Abstracts US. Research Sites Funding Publications Human Genome News Chromosome Poster Primer Molecular Genetics To Know Ourselves Your Genes. BLAST is a set of programs designed to perform similarity searches on all available sequence data. and laboratory . and genetic disorders. 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. 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.or the role of noncoding regions and repeats in the genome. Researchers also don't know the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) --single DNA base changes within the genome-. which is available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Some of these sequencesimilarity tools are accessible to the public over the Internet. Genome researchers look at many different features when comparing genomes: sequence similarity.Food Behavioral Genetics Minorities. 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. see the tutorial Sequence similarity searching using NCBI BLAST available through Gene Gateway. gene location. Race. For instructions on how to use BLAST.

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

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

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

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

000 100. .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 25.600 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 2.8 million bases 19.000 bases 1 gene per 100.750 million bases 2500 million bases 180 million bases 125 million bases ~30.000 bases 13.7 million bases 1.000 42 1 gene per ~30.000 bases 46 Homo sapiens (human) Rattus norvegicus (rat) Mus musculus (mouse) Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) Arabidopsis thaliana (plant) ~30. Genome size does not correlate with evolutionary status.100 12 6300 32 3200 1 1700 1 *Information extracted from genome publication papers below.500 10 Caenorhabdit 97 million is elegans bases (roundworm) Saccharomyc 12 million es cerevisiae bases (yeast) Escherichia coli (bacteria) H. influenzae (bacteria) 4.

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

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

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

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

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