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Brainy genes, not brawn, key to success on mussel beach
Date:10/9/2008

hat question through lab simulations.)

Study methods

The scientists collected genetic material every three to four hours over three days, sampling mussel beds just south of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. They also installed "robo-mussels"chips sealed in siliconto record body temperature.

Back in the lab, the DNA was sequenced and bound to 10,000 points on a "gene chip," or DNA microarray.

They then extracted RNAthe messenger that commands expression of a certain genefrom the samples at the 20 successive time points.

RNA from two consecutive points was then converted to DNA, which was labeled with two different dyes. These two types of DNA were then allowed to bind with different points on the microarray, which correspond to different points on the mussel genome.

Thanks to the dyes, the scientists could then observe which sample from which time point bound relatively more to a specific part of the mussel genome.

When this was determined, the functions of those genes that were expressed more at that point in time could be inferred based on their similarity to genes in public databases.


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Contact: Terah DeJong
tdejong@usc.edu
213-740-8606
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert  

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