facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Scientists study genome of the Trichoplax

Aug. 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. biologists say they've sequenced the genetic code of a simple saltwater creature to investigate how gene groups function in humans and other species.

Rice University Assistant Professor Nicholas Putnam said the study focused on the Trichoplax, a simple saltwater creature that one might find anywhere in the world, even in a household aquarium.

"We're trying to identify, in the Trichoplax, genes that are also found in other animals -- our genome and the fruit fly genome and so on," said Putnam, the study's co-author, who noted recognizing common genes among many species helps scientists determine their lineage, as well as where they diverge.

What Putnam finds interesting about Trichoplax is how common some elements of its genetic code are to other classes of life.

"Trichoplax is a tiny little pancake of cells you can barely see without a microscope," he said. "And they're extremely simple -- about as simple as you can be -- just a disc of cells that's two layers thick."

But the researchers discovered humans share elements with the Trichoplax that only become evident through charting its DNA.

The study is detailed in the journal Nature.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement 6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement
2
An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again
3
NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet
4
DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations
5
Protestors object plans to build telescope on land sacred to native Hawaiians Protestors object plans to build telescope on land sacred to native Hawaiians
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback