General, Research, Technology

Genetics re-counted human genes and were very surprised

Decryption of the human genome has been madequite a long time ago, but the number of genes was not exactly known. And recently, scientists decided to find out how many genes our genome contains. And the result of extremely surprised.

It is worth noting that counting the number of genesSince 1990, they have been engaged in the framework of the Human Genome Project. The project was completed 17 years ago and according to the data received, the most relevant database to date contains information on 22,298 protein-coding genes and their 34,214 transcripts.

It would seem why scientists neededdouble-check data that painstakingly collected more than 10 years? The technology of DNA and RNA sequencing is “to blame” for everything. The fact is that, according to some ideas, many experts consider the gene and nucleotide sequence encoding RNA, on which protein is not synthesized, but which itself participates in transformations. Thus, they could “fall out” when counting, which means that the number of genes in the end can turn out to be much larger than expected. Last year, a group of researchers led by Stephen Salzberg, a specialist in statistical methods in biology at the Johns Hopkins Institute, began work on rechecking the composition of the human genome.

For their work, experts analyzed about10,000 RNA sequencing experiments from 31 human tissue samples. It turned out that the updated database contains 43,162 genes, of which 21,306 encode proteins, and the rest do not encode anything. Moreover, almost 500 ”new genes and 30 million new transcript variants were added to the catalog. As Mr. Salzberg himself stated,

“We believe that most of the new genes are nothingthey don’t encode and can be attributed to the so-called “garbage dna”, but without them the catalog is not complete in any case. However, we do not believe that this is the final result. I won’t be surprised if after 10 years we don’t reach a consensus on the number of genes in human DNA. But at the same time, updated databases will be useful for searching for genes that cause the development of hereditary diseases. ”

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