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Genetics and Genomics Timeline
The mouse genome

Public and private efforts to sequence the mouse genome bore fruit in 2002 as researchers confirmed and expanded the notion that almost any gene in humans is also present in mice.

In April 2001, Celera Genomics in Rockville, Maryland, announced the completion of a draft mouse genome sequence, which was made available to subscribers of the company's database. One year later, Celera scientists reported new information about similarities between man and mouse. They found just fourteen genes on mouse chromosome 16 that have no obvious counterparts in humans. All the others—more than 700 mouse genes—are present in humans. Furthermore, the human genes reside together and in virtually the same order as in the mouse genome.

Humans and mice, it appears, have about 200 genomic blocks that contain the same genes but are arranged on different chromosomes. Short stretches of genetic code within these blocks have been conserved during mammalian evolution, the Celera team reported in Science.

In December 2002, the international Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium completed a draft of the mouse genome and compared it to the human genome. Both species have about 30,000 genes, the researchers reported in Nature. They identified in mice two thousand 'non-gene' regions that are also present in humans. These regions—sometimes referred to as 'junk DNA'—may perform important functions, such as regulating genes.

The researchers discovered about 9,000 previously unknown mouse genes and 1,200 previously unknown human genes. With about 2.5 billion letters of DNA, the mouse genome is 14 percent smaller than its human counterpart. Like Celera, the Consortium sequenced the mouse using the whole-genome shotgun method.

For current news visit GNN’s Mice and Rat Page.

Waterston, R. H. et al. Initial sequencing and comparative analysis of the mouse genome. Nature 420, 520-562 (December 5, 2002).
Dermitzakis, E. T. et al. Numerous potentially functional but non-genic conserved sequences on human chromosome 21. Nature 420, 578-582 (December 5, 2002).
Mural, R.J. et al. A comparison of whole-genome shotgun-derived mouse chromosome 16 and the human genome. Science 296, 1661-1671(May 31, 2002).
"Celera completes assembly of mouse genome." Press release, Celera Genomics, Rockville, Maryland (April 27, 2001).

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