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Scientists identify DNA that may contribute to each person's uniqueness
Date:8/11/2010

letting the researchers locate new ones.

Boeke's group first invented the transposon chip in 2006 for use in yeast. But, it was Kathleen Burns, M.D., Ph.D., now an assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins, who first got the chip to work with human DNA. "The human genome is much larger and more complex, and there are lots of look-a-like DNAs that are not actively moving but are similar to the transposons that we were interested in," says Burns. The trick was to modify how they copied the DNA before it was applied over the chip. The team was able to copy DNA from the transposons of interest, which have just three different genetic code letters than other look-alike DNA segments.

"We've known that genomes aren't static places, but we didn't know how many transposons there are in each one of us; we didn't know how often a child is born with a new one that isn't found in either parent and we didn't know if these DNAs were moving around in diseases like cancer," says Burns. "Now we have a tool for answering these questions. This adds a whole dimension to how we look at our DNA."


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Contact: Vanessa McMains
vmcmain1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9410
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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