When a private company and a government project both published the genetic instruction book for human beings in 2001, the text was "as striking for what we don't see as for what we do," Science News reported (2/17/01, p. 100). Only a third as many genes were found as had been expected (color-coded DNA analysis shown). Upon closer readings over the last decade, the surprises kept coming. Scientists have shown that different individuals have "much more human genetic variation than scientists had expected" (9/8/07, p. 147) and discovered that tiny snippets of RNA keep cells healthy. Frisky Neandertals may have even left "a little relic of the Stone Age in [human] DNA" (6/5/10, p. 5). But as the list of people and other creatures whose genetic blueprints have been deciphered grows, fundamental questions remain--including precisely how many genes people have ("no one really knows") and which ones actually do something important (11/6/10, p. 5).
Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
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|Title Annotation:||90TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: 1980-1996|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Mar 24, 2012|
|Next Article:||Ninety years of spreading the science news.|