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67 billion gene sequences from worm and fly and human beings were studied by researchers from the NHGRI or National Genome Research Institute. It was found that there was sharing of gene expression patterns between these species, especially in developmental genes.
Mark Gerstein, the lead author on one of the papers and the professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University stated that this research was important to learn more about human genome.
One way of describing and understanding the human genome is by way of comparative genomics as well as the study of model organisms. The most special thing about the fly and the worm is that evolutionarily they are quite distant from humans and finding something conserved across the worm, fly and human tells us that the process is a fundamental and an ancient one.
Similar features were also seen in the chromatin in the cells of these species which is responsible for DNA is stored in the cells. Other similarities that are shared between the 3 species are how the genes are turned off and on and how the genes are expressed in genes that are responsibility of coding proteins.
In a press release, a researcher from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory stated that the findings have extreme importance in understanding the roles played by the genes in genetic code. He says that “Our findings open whole new worlds for understanding gene expression and how we think about the role of transcription”.
Interestingly, the genes have a link to cancer and genetic diseases in humans are found in the genome of the fly as well. This causes problems for flies during mutation.