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A CNIO study recreates the history of life through the genome
Date:11/19/2013

ich replicate early; while the newer genes replicate in more unstable regions of the genome − those that accumulate more mutations− which replicate later on. "This allows the most recent genes to evolve much more quickly than the older ones", says Rico.

"The regions that replicate late also have a compact and inaccessible structure; they are hidden zones in the genome that act as evolutionary laboratories, where these genes can acquire new functions without affecting essential processes in the organism", adds de Juan.

The authors of the study maintain that this model could have facilitated the birth of new genes related to specific functions in tissues and organs and could have contributed to the development of complex structures such as the brain or liver.

CANCER AND THE EVOLUTION OF LIVING BEINGS: THE SAME ORIGIN

The appearance of mutations in late replicating regions had already been related to cancer and ageing in previous studies. scar Fernndez-Capetillo, the head of CNIO's Genomic Instability Group, and one of the study's researchers, says the results are 'surprising', given that: "they help to understand how drastic changes in the genomethat until now had only been related to the formation of tumoursare, at the same time, crucial for the evolution of the species".

The authors point out that "the fascinating thing about this model is how the late-replicating regions have contributed to the adaptive capacity of species as complex as the human being".

The evolutionary vision of nature has reached new dimensions with the latest advances in molecular biology, and has reached its high point in the last 10 years thanks to the massive genome sequencing techniques. Valencia says the new advances in this direction will help improve our understanding of all living systems.


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Contact: Nuria Noriega
comunicacion@cnio.es
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Source:Eurekalert  

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