Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Often Do You Mutate?

August 27, 2009

A team of researchers, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Yali Xue, report using next-generation sequencing to determine the mutation rate of human DNA, according to Scientific Blogging. The researchers studied an area of the Y chromosome of two distantly related Chinese men — their most common ancestor lived 200 years, or 13 generations, ago. From next-generation sequencing followed by Sanger sequencing, they saw that the two Y chromosomes were different at four of the 10,149,085 loci examined. From that the researchers determined that the mutation rate for humans is one in 30 million nucleotides per generation. "The amount of data we generated would have been unimaginable just a few years ago," Xue says. "But finding this tiny number of mutations was more difficult than finding an ant's egg in the emperor's rice store." The team's work will appear inCurrent Biology.

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