Flinn Scholars News
ASU/TGen researcher's DNA work published in 'Nature'
When James Cagney's character in the 1931 film "Blond Crazy" called someone a "dirty, double-crossing rat," he probably wasn't assessing their genetic heritage; yet recent research by Arizona State University biologist Jeff Touchman suggests that such a characterization might not be far off the mark.
Think some people act like they are descended from rats? You may not be far off the mark, according to Arizona State University's Jeff Touchman and a research group that studies such relationships.
As reported by a paper published in the August 14 issue of Nature, humans have more in common genetically with rodents than with cats and dogs. This is just one of the many conclusions to come out of what has been termed the first large-scale comparison between the human genome and that of 12 other vertebrates. The article is entitled, "Comparative analyses of multi-species sequences from targeted genomic regions."
The study was conducted by a team of 71 researchers from 10 institutions. The group compared a targeted region of the human genome with the same region in other vertebrates, an important step in understanding the differences and similarities among the species.
Touchman, who serves as both director of the sequencing facility at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and assistant professor of biology at ASU, says that the work is a significant achievement both in terms of the remarkable amount to the genome sequenced, and the lessons learned from the work itself.
For more information:
"Researchers enter age of comparative genomics with large-scale study of vertebrate DNA," ASU News, 8/18/2003
"Comparative analyses of multi-species sequences from targeted genomic regions," Nature online (membership required)