Navigation Links
Researchers Publish Genome Sequence for Duck-Billed Platypus

One of the few mammals that lays eggs offers clues to evolution of all mammalian genes

WEDNESDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of scientists has published the first analysis of the genome sequence of the duck-billed platypus, one of the few mammals that lays eggs.

The research offers clues about how genomes were organized during the early evolution of mammals.

"At first glance, the platypus appears as if it was the result of an evolutionary accident. But as weird as this animal looks, its genome sequence is priceless for understanding how fundamental mammalian biological processes have evolved. Comparisons of the platypus genome to those of other mammals will provide new insights into the history, structure and function of our own genome," Francis S. Collins, director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), said in a prepared statement.

The NHGRI helped fund the analysis of the genome sequence of the platypus, which is native to Australia and has many unique characteristics. Along with being one of the few mammals that lays eggs, the platypus has a duck-like bill, an electrosensory system it uses to forage for food underwater, and a thick fur coat adapted for icy waters. Males have hind leg spurs that can deliver venom that causes excruciating pain.

The researchers found that the platypus genome contains about the same number of protein-coding genes as other mammals (approximately 18,500) and also shares more than 80 percent of its genes with other mammals whose genomes have been sequenced.

The scientists then looked for unique parts of the platypus genome that have been lost from mammalian genomes, as well as genetic features associated with reptiles.

"The mix of reptilian, mammalian, and unique characteristics of the platypus genome provides many clues to the function and evolution of all mammalian genomes," study senior author Richard K. Wilson, director of Washington University School of Medicine's Genome Sequencing Center, said in a prepared statement. "Now, we'll be able to pinpoint genes that have been conserved throughout evolution, as well as those that have been lost or gained."

The research was published in the May 8 issue of the journal Nature.

"This genome provides a unique perspective on what the genomes of our earliest mammalian ancestors may have looked like. It is fascinating that what we think of as being reptile-like (i.e., egg laying and venom) and mammal-like features can co-exist in the same genome," Adam Felsenfeld, head of the Comparative and Sequencing Analysis Program in NHGRI's Division of Extramural Research, said in a prepared statement.

More information

The NHGRI has more about genomics.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, news release, May 7, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. UC San Diego researchers target tumors with tiny nanoworms
2. Researchers Find Lubricant Doesnt Hinder Fertility
3. MGH researchers report successful new laser treatment for vocal-cord cancer
4. Stanford researchers synthesize compound to flush HIV out of hiding
5. World first: researchers develop completely automated anesthesia system
6. Researchers Develop Quick Way to Create Human Antibodies
7. Researchers Tackle HIV From a New Angle
8. Researchers important markers of high risk of type 2 diabetes
9. Cancer researchers receive NIH grant to advance brain tumor therapies from lab to clinical trials
10. Researchers Identify Contaminant in Tainted Heparin
11. UMass Medical School researchers awarded pediatric HIV vaccine development grant
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, an ... United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional part ... fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic image—like ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Battle Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... abuse, joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table ... held in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health ... the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid ... ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in ... states – Kentucky , New Mexico ... . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: