Monday, May 26, 2008

First Female DNA Decoded

[Cross-posted from the Blazing Indiscretions blog, hat tip to blogger Jay Vos]

The first decoding of DNA in a female was done in The Netherlands, reports A red-haired, 34-year-old Dutch woman has become the first woman in the world to have her compete DNA unraveled, genetic scientists at Leiden University Medical Centre announced on Monday.
[T]he sequencing data of a female provides more insight into the X chromosome. 'Because the X chromosome has to do all the work in one half of the population - the males - selection has been tougher during human evolution,' according to Van Ommen. 'This means the X chromosome is less variable.'

Male sequencing data has already been unraveled from Jim Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, from researcher Craig Venter and from two Yoruba Africans. 'It was time to balance the genders a bit,' news agency AP reported Van Ommen as saying.

Decoding the DNA took six months, but the scientists point out they could only use the sequencing equipment when it was not being used for other projects.

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