1. Genes can be transcribed into mRNA, in the case of protein-coding genes, or into RNA, in the case of genes such
as those that encode ribosomal or transfer RNAs. Define a gene. For the following characteristics, state whether they apply to (a) continuous, (b) simple, or (c) complex transcription units. i. Found in eukaryotes ii. Contain introns iii. Capable of making only a single protein from a given gene
2. Sequencing of the human genome has revealed much about the organization of genes. Describe the differences between solitary genes, gene families, pseudogenes, and tandemly repeated genes.
3. Much of the human genome consists of repetitious DNA. Describe the difference between microsatellite and minisatellite DNA. How is this repetitious DNA useful for identifying individuals by the technique of DNA fingerprinting?
4. Mobile DNA elements that can move or transpose to a new site directly as DNA are called DNA transposons. Describe the mechanism by which a bacterial DNA transposon, called an insertion sequence, can transpose.
5. Retrotransposons are a class of mobile elements that transpose via an RNA intermediate. Contrast the mechanism of transposition between retrotransposons that contain long terminal repeats (LTRs) and those that lack LTRs.
6. Discuss the role that transposons may have played in the evolution of modern organisms. What is exon shuffling? What role do transposons play in the process of exon shuffling?
7. What are paralogous and orthologous genes? What are some of the explanations for the finding that humans are a much more complex organism than the roundworm C. elegans, yet have only about 5 percent more proteincoding genes (21,000 versus 20,000)?
8. The DNA in a cell associates with proteins to form chromatin. What is a nucleosome? What role do histones play in y in nucleosomes? How are nucleosomes arranged in condensed 30-nm fibers?
9. How do chromatin modifications regulate transcription? What modifications are observed in regions of the genome that are being actively transcribed? In regions that are not actively transcribed?
10. What is FISH? Briefly describe how it works. How is FISH used to characterize chromosomal translocations associated with certain genetic disorders and specific types of cancers?
11. What is chromosome painting, and how is this technique useful? How can chromosome paint probes be used to analyze the evolution of mammalian chromosomes?
12. Certain organisms contain cells that possess polytene chromosomes. What are polytene chromosomes, where arethey found, and what function do they serve?
13. Replication and segregation of eukaryotic chromosomes require three functional elements: replication origins, a centromere, and telomeres. How would a chromosome be affected if it lacked (a) replication origins or (b) a centromere? 14. Describe the problem that occurs during DNA replication at the ends of chromosomes. How are telomeres related to this problem?