As a user of a dual monitor system for a few years now… this looks both nifty and silly at the same time. Interesting way to save space and still have a good laptop screen size.

The genome for the mouse is being published on several websites on Thursday. Here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of creating Red, White & Green Xmas mice, plump savory eatin’-mice, and freakish radiotelepathic hive-mice with gestalt minds and a overpowering urge to dominate mankind.

*Must obey Mr. Squeaky- #34 of 67*


Mouse Genome to Be Made Public, an Aid to Human Studies
By NICHOLAS WADE

The genetic sequence of the mouse will be made public on Thursday, a landmark in biology that researchers say will greatly accelerate efforts to understand and treat human disease, as well as yield insights into basic biology and evolution.

Details of the findings, developed by a consortium of scientists from academic centers in the United States and Europe, will be published in the journal Nature. The full array of data will be freely available on the Internet, on Web sites that include www.ensembl.org, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/guide/mouse and genome.ucsc.edu.

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The consortium is not the first team to complete a draft of the mouse genome. Dr. J. Craig Venter and his company Celera Genomics, which rivaled the public consortium in the race to complete the human genome, finished a draft of the mouse genome more than a year ago. But Celera, which Dr. Venter has since left, makes the draft available only to paying subscribers.

Humans and mice are mammalian cousins who split into two species 75 million years ago, toward the end of the dinosaur era. With the genomes of both mammals now in hand, analysis shows that their biological programming turns out to be amazingly similar.

Only 1 percent of the mouse’s 30,000 or so genes have no obvious counterpart in the human genome, and vice versa, according to a consortium analysis of the two genomes.

This similarity makes the mouse genome an almost perfect tool for studying the human genome, since gene experiments that cannot be done in people can be done using equivalent mouse genes.

To study the role of any human gene, researchers can identify the counterpart gene in mice, create strains of mice that lack the gene, and figure out the gene’s role from the mouse’s defects.

An analysis of the mouse genome based largely on comparing its DNA unit by unit with the human genome has turned up many new insights into how evolution shapes a species.

Most of the human and mouse genes have one-to-one counterparts, though some mouse genes have expanded into a cluster of related genes. The mouse, for instance, has developed many extra copies of genes that do duties important to being a mouse, like genes underlying the sense of smell, pheromones (hormones that guide mating), immune defense and toxin degradation.

The two forces that change a genome are mutation – random, accidental changes in DNA caused by radiation, chemical instability, copying errors – and natural selection. Computer programs that compare mouse and human genomes can identify which regions are under selective pressure.

Studies indicate that 5 percent of the human and mouse genomes are under selective pressure. Since the protein-coding genes constitute only 3 percent of the genome, another 2 percent of the genome must be doing something very important, though largely unknown at this stage.

The mouse genome is 14 percent shorter than the human’s, since it has less “junk DNA,” or DNA that does not appear to program for genes. The mouse’s contains 2,400 billion bases of DNA, the human’s, 2,900 billion.

In a completely other note, I’m reminded of the saying “I’d rather be a smart feller, than a fart smeller.” (Or I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy, for that matter). Four of hearts or whore of farts?

Spoonerisms. Got to dig ’em.

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