Without DNA recombination and mutation, humans would all be the same, says the University of Leicester's Alec Jeffreys. Jeffreys — who invented DNA fingerprinting in the 1980s — and his team have recently discovered the gene they think is responsible for DNA recombination, writes the New Scientist's Andy Coghlan. The gene, called PR domain-containing 9, makes an enzyme that locks onto DNA and recombines it when sperm eggs develop from germ cells, Coghlan says. Jeffreys says there's a lot of variation in Prdm9, which means some people get a major reshuffling while others only get light variation, Coghlan writes. The researchers found 24 new variants in the gene to add to the five that had previously been discovered.
One Gene to Rule Them All
Sep 08, 2010