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Researchers admit: we got confused in counting the human genome

Differences were discovered between the DNA sequence counts conducted in government laboratories and private laboratories; Meanwhile, the scientists state that new sequences have been discovered that disrupt the final data

By: Moti Gal, voila! news
American scientists have found that there are profound differences between the analysis of DNA sequences carried out in public and private laboratories, a fact that casts a heavy shadow on the project of cracking the human genome. Meanwhile, newly discovered DNA sequences add new information that disrupts the latest census data.

Genes are regions in the hereditary material DNA that are copied into another material, RNA, from which they become proteins. Since the proteins carry with them most of the biochemical material of the body's cells, it is common to think that the number of genes reflects the complexity of the living body.

Therefore, a number of scientists were surprised to discover that the American government announced the end of the human genome project last year. Two counts, one conducted by the Selera company and the other by a group of private scientists, reached a similar conclusion: humans only have about 30,000 genes. This small number of genes raised questions about the reliability of the count. Therefore, private researchers have stated that the number of genes reaches at least 60,000, and it is possible that the number also reaches 90,000 genes.

However, a new analysis by Celera Laboratories in San Diego explains that the difference between the counts is due to new sets of genes discovered by the private researchers. From the combination of the counts, between the private researchers and the government researchers, it was discovered that so far there are at least 42,000 human genes, and the number may climb higher.

"The confusion is not a worrisome problem," said Larry Thompson, spokesman for the American Institute for Genomic Research, this week. According to him, since the counts were done computerized, it is clear that there will be a discrepancy between the numbers. "Will the final number of genes be doubled? Probably not," concludes Thompson. The article was published in the latest issue of the journal Cell.

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