News of the WeekHUMAN GENOME

Mapping a Subtext in Our Genetic Book

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Science  12 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5468, pp. 945-947
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5468.945b

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PARIS-- A European consortium is about to launch an effort to pinpoint every key spot in our genetic code where cells turn genes on and off by adding a methyl group to cytosine, one of the four nucleotides that make up DNA. Variations in methylation between healthy and ailing tissues could give researchers a better understanding of what goes wrong in some diseases. The consortium announced at the Genomes 2000 meeting here last month that it has won initial funding for the project, which aims to grind out methylation maps for every kind of tissue.