"Chromosome 1 is the largest human chromosome, containing about 8% of the entire genome. That's six times longer than its smallest sibling, chromosome 21. Work on this monster started a couple of years after researchers cracked into some of the other chromosomes, says Simon Gregory of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Gregory led the project's team of more than 160 collaborators in their eight-year quest.
The task took so long, Gregory says, that it was regularly ridiculed in the annual pantomime at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, where much of the sequencing was done. "There's always friendly rivalry to get your chromosome out first," he says. Now it's finally done, "it's an incredible relief," he adds."
Medical News Today Genome Doesn't Start With ‘G' - Study Of The Largest And Last Chromosome Of The Human Genome Published
"The sequence of human chromosome 1 is 223,569,564 bases of genetic code - around 8% of our genome - and contains about twice as many genes as the average chromosome. “The size of chromosome 1 means its landscape spans extremes in gene content, with stretches of millions of bases of gene-rich oases and gene-poor deserts,” continued Dr Gregory, “as well as regions of the chromosome that are copied during early and late phases of cell division.”
But the sequence must be mined to be of benefit: for example, differences in the sequence between individuals will help develop an understanding of diseases associated with this chromosome. Almost 4500 single-letter changes in the genetic code (called SNPs) were identified that could lead to changes in protein activity. In addition, 90 SNPs were found that would result in a shortened - and possibly inactive - protein."
“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.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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