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{bio,medical} informatics

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. SiliconValley.Com Widely varying counts of human genes spur debate by scientists

"The central challenge is that human genes are not visible to the eye, even under a microscope. They don't blink in bright colors. Nor do they have a discernible beginning and end."

""The count is on a computer -- it's not a biological one,'' said Mike Cherry, assistant professor of genetics, research, at Stanford University Medical Center.

"These programs try to use general rules to figure out a prediction,'' he said of the computers. ""And predictions are made by studying what we know, which is only a fraction of what exists.''"

""There is no single technology that tell us: "This is a gene, this is not,'' said M.R.C. Greenwood, chancellor of the University of California-Santa Cruz. "We'll need a combination of computational technologies to get the entire genome set.''"

redux [08.24.01]
find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times Human Genome Now Appears More Complicated After All
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"After a humiliating deflation this February, human dignity is on the recovery path, at least as measured by the number of genes in the human genome.

Two new estimates put the likely number of human genes at around 40,000, up by a third from the estimate of about 30,000 in February by the two teams of scientists who decoded the human genome. The low estimate still has its defenders."

find related articles. powered by google. NPR: All Things Considered DNA Recount

"Recent estimates that the human genome consists of only about 30,000 genes may be way off the mark, according to a study published today in the journal Cell. NPR's Richard Harris has the story. (3:45)"

redux [01.18.01]
find related articles. powered by google. ScienceDaily With First Comparative Look At Human And Mouse DNA, Joint Genome Institute Team Confirms Gene Estimate

"Earlier this year, researchers mapping the human genome estimated that human DNA contains about 30,000 genes. Now, based on the first-ever look at comparable sections of human and mouse DNA, a team of Walnut Creek-based Joint Genome Institute (JGI) scientists has confirmed that estimate as roughly accurate."

""There had been speculation that aligning the human and mouse DNA sequence might reveal many more genes," Stubbs said. "However, if chromosome 19 is indicative of other chromosomes, the estimate of 30,000 genes is fairly accurate.""

find related articles. powered by google. BBC Dispute over number of human genes

"Two rival teams that cracked the human genome may have underestimated the number of human genes, according to a new computer analysis."

Scientists in the United States claim humans are built from 66,000 genes, nearly twice as many as the current consensus."

"But the new analysis, published on the website of the journal Genome Biology, has been dismissed by the Sanger Centre, in Cambridgeshire, UK, which was responsible for about a third of the human genome sequencing effort."

""The experimental evidence actually points to 30-40,000 genes," Dr Hubbard told BBC News Online. "I don't believe the argument in this paper that there are a lot more genes. This is an entirely computational paper and I don't think it's very credible.""

redux [11.13.00]
find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet UK geneticist offers exact count of human genes
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"If James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA's structure, says we don't know how many genes there are, you're inclined to believe him. So it was a great surprise to hear the legend denounced, albeit with due deference. At the last count, insisted Kay Davies, professor of anatomy at the University of Oxford, humans are reckoned to have 40,944 tiny protein factories.

She was drawing on statistics that define the proteome, the protein equivalent of the genome, as the set of all expressed proteins in humans, for which 40,944 genes are individually responsible. Not a huge figure, she noted, barely the equivalent of three flies or a couple of worms. "Apologies Jim, let's talk over tea," she added."

redux [06.08.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Red Herring Genomics offers an odd proposition

"Research on the human genome may well pay fat dividends in 10 or 20 years, but you can make money on it now, the old-fashioned way: by gambling. Find out how on the Web site of Project Ensembl, a European organization that develops genome-related software."

At the May 2000 Annual Meeting on Genome Sequencing and Biology at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, New York, Ewan Birney, team leader of Project Ensembl, proposed GeneSweep, a betting pool to guess the total number of human genes. All bets must be entered by hand, in person, in ink, in a book kept at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The winner of the pool, which now stands at a whopping $348, will be announced at the 2003 genome meeting."

redux [05.13.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Wired News Amped Geneticists Bet on Genome

"Well, they weren't all men, but mostly. The betting in the pub continued, the lowest bet being 29,800 genes placed by Pat Tome and the highest number coming from John Quackenbush at 118,259.

The pool was organized by Erwin Birney, a team leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute. He tried to convince the bartender to oversee the betting, but was told in no uncertain terms that no gambling was allowed in the Cold Spring bar.

Guesses on the number of genes in the human genome have lowered considerably since the mapping of chromosome 21, which researchers found to contain only 225 genes, far fewer than previously predicted. The researchers on the chromosome 21 study predicted their results could mean that there are as few as 40,000 genes in the entire human genome.

"Someone from Incyte will probably show up and bet 150,000," one gambler said."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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