Genetics re-counted human genes and were surprised

The decoding of the human genome was produced quite some time, but the number of genes was not known exactly. And recently, scientists decided to find out how many genes our genome contains. And the result of the extremely surprised.

It is worth noting that counting the number of genes studied since 1990 in the framework of the project “human Genome” (HGP — Human Genome Project). The project was completed 17 years ago and according to the obtained data the most relevant for today, the database contains information about 22298 protein-coding genes and their transcripts 34214.

It would seem, why it took scientists to cross-check the data laboriously collected more than 10 years? To blame technology for sequencing DNA and RNA. The fact that, according to some views, many experts believe gene and a nucleotide sequence coding for RNA that does not produce a protein, but which itself is involved in the transformations. Thus, they could “fall out” when counting, and thus the number of genes in the end may be much greater than anticipated. In the past the year 2017, a group of researchers under the leadership of Steven Salzberg, a specialist in statistical methods in biology at the Institute of Johns Hopkins, began work on the re-examination of the composition of the human genome.

For their work, the experts analyzed about 10,000 experiments on sequencing RNA from 31 specimens of human tissue. It turned out that the updated database contains 43 162 gene, of which 21306 encode proteins and the rest do not code anything. In this case, the directory has added almost 500″ of new genes and 30 million new variants of transcripts. As stated by himself, Mr. Salzberg,

“We believe that most new genes do not code for anything and can be attributed to the so-called “junk DNA”, but without them the composition of the catalog is not complete in any way. However, we do not believe that this is the final result. I would not be surprised if in 10 years we come to a consensus on the number of genes in human DNA. But at the same time the updated database will be useful for finding genes that cause hereditary diseases.”

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