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Australians Use Mutated Genes to Plug Gaps in Human Genome Sequence

NEW YORK, July 11 - Researchers from the Australian Genome Research Facility at the University of Queensland, Australia have developed a method that may help to plug the 400 gaps in the human genome sequence. The method was introduced today at the XIX International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne.

 

Some sections of DNA are particularly difficult to sequence because they are toxic to the E. coli in which they are grown. The new technique involves mutating the DNA so that it is no longer toxic, cloning and sequencing it, and then using an algorithm to determine the DNA's original sequence. The method has only been applied thus far to small sections of DNA but the researchers are confident that it can be tuned up for use with longer stretches.

 

The researchers working on this project hope to find funds from overseas commercial companies to expand their operations, according to Keith Mitchelson, one of the scientists.

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