News FocusGenomics

Charting a Genome's Hills and Valleys

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Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1601-1603
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5573.1601

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COLD SPRING HARBOR, NEW YORK-- As researchers begin comparing newly sequenced genomes, numerous surprises are emerging, as described at a genome meeting held here from 7 to 11 May. For one, some of the noncoding DNA that was believed to be useless turns out to be highly conserved among humans and mice--an indication that it might have an important function after all. Another unexpected finding is that the rates at which different DNA sequences within the same genome change through time vary significantly. As a result of these discoveries, biologists are rethinking their views of how genomes operate--and shedding some of their "gene-centric" views in the process.