Thirty years out from the start of the Human Genome Project, researchers have finally finished sequencing the full 3 billion bases of a person’s genetic code. But even a complete reference genome has its shortcomings.
DNA passed to and from all kinds of organisms, even across kingdoms, has helped shape the tree of life, to a large and undisputed degree in microbes and also unexpectedly in multicellular fungi, plants, and animals.
The genome is from a male who was likely in his late thirties when the historic Mount Vesuvius eruption occurred. The analyses suggest he is related to the diverse Imperial Roman population of the time, and that he may have suffered from spinal tuberculosis.
In two related studies, researchers describe huge chromosomal rearrangements and about 500 novel gene clusters in the octopus, squid, and cuttlefish genomes, which they say could help explain how they evolved their extraordinary brains.