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Study identifies genes associated with genomic expansions that cause disease
Date:9/10/2012

or understanding what is going on in terminally differentiated cells.

Why repeats with the detrimental ability to expand have remained a part of the genomes also remains a question. Genetic processes that hinder an organism's competitiveness are normally eliminated during the process of evolution.

"Perhaps these repeats play a positive role in the cell when they are small, but because of their ability to expand, they sometimes get out of control and become larger," Lobachev said.

The findings reported in the yeast, which is commonly used in wine-making and brewing, may help chart a new course in human studies. Scientists often begin genetic research with simpler organisms such as yeast, and use the findings to provide direction for examining similar mechanisms in humans.

"A lot of the processes that are going on in our cells and in yeast cells are the same," Lobachev noted. "These processes are highly conserved throughout evolution. The history of biology tells us that most probably what we find in yeast is going to turn out to be true in humans."

Lobachev hopes the study will lead to new research, both in yeast genetics and humans.

"We have built a map for future analysis so that when people sequence the genome and find deficiencies in particular genes, that will be a clear prediction that individuals with those deficiencies will be predisposed to instability," Lobachev said. "There are now several directions for us and other labs to pursue to see what is really happening here.


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Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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