NEW YORK, Dec. 19 - This week's issue of Nature will publish the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's sequence of chromosome 20, which houses genes associated with a number of deadly diseases.
Wellcome Trust researchers said that chromosome 20 contains more than 720 genes, including ones that play a role in Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, the human form of mad cow disease, as well as heart disease, stroke, dermatitis, type-two diabetes, and obesity.
Less than half of the genes on the chromosome have been fully characterized, the Wellcome Trust said.
The researchers found more than 30,000 SNPs on the chromosome and discovered that 40 percent of people have an extra string of DNA, an insertion that carries at least one gene.
"Beyond the high-quality sequence lie our challenges to identify and to understand the genetic information embedded in DNA code," Panos Deloukas, leader of the project at the Sanger Institute, said in a statement. "Our work on chromosome 20 shows what can be achieved using the rapidly developing sets of public data and tools for analysis."
Nature is published on Thursdays.
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, formerly called the Sanger Center, is responsible for sequencing one third of the human genome, including chromosomes 1, 6, 9, 10, 13, 22, and X.
The center announced the sequence of chromosome 22, the first chromosome to be fully sequenced, in December 1999.