Comparative analysis of complete genome sequences for several mammals is predicted to provide greater understanding of biological processes and impact on human health. In an Advanced Early Publication in Nature, an international consortium lead by David Bentley at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, brings that goal one step closer with the report of a completed physical map of the mouse genome (Nature 2002, doi:10.1038/nature00957).

The consortium constructed a clone map in two phases: they analyzed restriction digest patterns 'fingerprints' and boundary sequences of more than 300,000 BAC (bacterial artificial chromosomes) clones to construct a human–mouse homology clone map. They then used thousands of independently mapped mouse markers to generate a final map containing around 300 contigs (representing 98% coverage).

The researchers found more than 50,000 homologous sections between the mouse and human genomes (many in introns and intergenic regions). They document extensive conserved synteny, finding...

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