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Learning how the pieces responsible for interpreting the human genome work
Date:4/21/2009

The human genome complete sequencing project in 2003 revealed the enormous instruction manual necessary to define a human being. However, there are still many unanswered questions. There are few indications on where the functional elements are found in this manual. To explain how we develop, scientists will have to decode the entire network of biological complexes that regulate development. One of the biggest challenges is to analyse the key proteins involved in the development of a human being, namely the proteins that bind to DNA. "If the genome provides the recipe to define a human being, the DNA proteins are the "chefs" that cook it", describes Herbert Auer, manager of the Functional Genomics Facility at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and co-organizer, together with Erich Grotewold, at the Ohio State University, of the Barcelona Biomed Conference, "The DNA proteome". Invited by IRB Barcelona and the BBVA Foundation, twenty-one authorities in the field of genomics present their recent work on 20, 21 and 22 April at the "Institut d'Estudis Catalans", in Barcelona.

Thomas Gingeras, from Cold Spring Harbor, and Michael Snyder, from Yale University, both at US, explain today in press conference that "we are at an exciting time in Biology. As Herbert Auer suggests we are defining the instructions encoded in the genome. For instance, we can now relate that many mutations found outside the genes are in regulatory regions for genes. This was accomplished by identifying where the regulatory networks are located".

Gingeras and Snyder are both leading scientists involved in the ENCODE project the consortium of the encyclopaedia of DNA elements -, the largest international study being performed today on discovering the functional elements of the human genome. In 2007, ENCODE provided the first surprising data on the elements that form our genome and on its regulation, breaking some of the classical ideas about what genes ar
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Contact: Sonia Armengou
sonia.armengou@irbbarcelona.org
34-934-037-255
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Source:Eurekalert  

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