GenomeApps211S - Genomics Applications - 1 Comparative...

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Genomics Applications - 1 Comparative Genomics In addition to learning what comprises our DNA, scientists are using data from functional genomics to compare genomes for studying DNA homologies and common gene functions among many organisms. Through this researchers obtain better information about gene regulation and gene expression. Analyzing genomes provides information on such things as: the amino acid sequences for proteins coded by the structural genes; the gene control sequences for promoters, operators and gene termination sequences; comparative gene sequences for common metabolic enzymes, such the enzymes found in glycolysis; genes that code for virulence in pathogens as potential targets for medicine treatments. Pathogens studied to date for this purpose include: o Chlamydia trachomatis, Rickettsia prowazekii, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptomyces coelicolor and E coli O157:H7, all serious pathogens for which antibiotic treatments are becoming less effective. o The SARS virus was sequenced hoping to find unique protein sequence targets for vaccine development. An obvious interest in comparative genomics is to look at the relationships, if any, between the overall size of a species' genome, the number of genes and assumed complexity of the organism. The potential role of our "non-functional" DNA in gene regulation is an area of active study for finding explanations for our perception of greater human and vertebrate complexity in the absence of greater numbers of genes. As discussed, alternative splicing of genes is a significant source of protein variation and may be more common in more complex organisms. Using model organisms, genomics is provides data on what genes are critical to life, the gene differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and between different groups of eukaryotes.
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Genomics Applications - 2 Two other research areas of comparative genomics are finding the minimal genome that can support life and discovering the complexity and variety of proteins needed for different organisms, and how those proteins relate to our perceptions of complex organization. The Minimal Genome By using DNA comparisons with parasitic bacteria and known genomes researchers are discovering more about the "vital" genes needed to minimally support a cell. Using transposons to knock out genes in Mycoplasma genitalium , the smallest genome known, researchers are determining the minimum genome needed to sustain this parasitic bacterium's survival. If the bacterium can grow without the gene, it's not needed. Non-essential Gene Essential Gene Finding the Genes Unique to Different Kinds of Organisms Researchers compare gene differences to find out what genes are unique in different types of organisms such as the genes needed for multicellularity, and how genes differ in similar organisms. Some gene differences to date: Gene differences between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
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Genomics Applications - 3 Genes Unique to Multicellularity
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GenomeApps211S - Genomics Applications - 1 Comparative...

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