Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Comparative genomics is the study of relationships between the genomes of different species. While it is still a young field, it holds great promise to yield insights into many aspects of the evolution of modern species. The sheer amount of information contained in modern genomes (several gigabytes in the case of humans) necessitates that the methods of comparative genomics are mostly computational in nature. Gene finding is an important application of comparative genomics.
Having come a long way from its initial use of finding genes, comparative genomics is now concentrating on finding regulatory regions. These are small stretches of DNA, not more than 15 bases long which decide when a particular gene will produce its product. From 2001 onwards, a series of papers have been published by the genomics group at MIT which describe the use of comparative genomics in this area. They say that, several such important regulatory regions are conserved across even distantly related genera.
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