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Gene activity in the brain depends on genetic background
Date:10/19/2010

w that genetic backgroundthe specific blend of gene variants comprising an individual genomecan influence how the activity of a given gene is regulated and where it is expressed."

Taken all together, the data from the study demonstrate that closer genetic relatives exhibit fewer differences in gene expression patterns, whereas more distant relatives show greater variation. Interestingly, the researchers found that the expression variations between genetic strains were more likely to be found in areas of the brain that evolved more recently. These regions are most commonly linked to higher order functions such as cognition, social behavior, learning and memory.

"This study shows how large-scale datasets can be used to reveal fundamental biological patterns that would likely be missed otherwise," said Jones. "It is likely that many important differences between individuals and species may result from combinations of many small but clear differences in gene expression."

Jones added, "Our ongoing Allen Human Brain Atlas project, which will provide gene expression data across the brains of multiple donors, will help researchers translate these results from an animal model to a human system."


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Contact: Aaron Blank
aaronblank@feareygroup.com
206-343-1543
Allen Institute for Brain Science
Source:Eurekalert

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