Ultraconserved DNA paper cited among Science Magazine's breakthroughs of 2004

Ultraconserved DNA paper cited among Science Magazine's breakthroughs of 2004
Ultraconserved DNA paper cited among Science Magazine's breakthroughs of 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004

In a story recapping the great science breakthroughs of 2004, Science Magazine listed "hidden DNA treasures" as number 5. Research on the regions of the genome that do not code for proteins, dubbed "junk DNA," has yielded several surprises. According to Science, "The wasteland is rich in genetic gems: short stretches of regulatory DNA, transposable elements (sequences that hop from one place to another), coding sequences that yield tiny RNA molecules, and so on."

Among the gems are "ultraconserved DNA," segments of 200 or more DNA bases that are identical between the human, rat, and mouse genomes, indicating that they have been conserved meticulously through hundreds of millions of years of evolution. The ultraconserved DNA finding arose from a collaboration between the Haussler laboratory at UCSC and the Mattick laboratory at University of Queensland, Australia.

The resulting paper was cited in the Science Magazine story: Bejerano G, Pheasant M, Makunin I, Stephen S, Kent WJ, Mattick JS, Haussler D. Ultraconserved elements in the human genome. Science. 28 May 2004; 304(5675):1321-1325.