A long-defunct gene that is now involved in Crohn's disease was resurrected over the course of human evolution after being "dead" for millions of years, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000403 published online today (Mar. 5) in __PLoS Genetics__. "This is probably the first example of a gene coming back from the dead after being gone for 25 million years," linkurl:Evan Eichler,;http://www.gs.washington.edu/faculty/eichler.htm a genome researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle who led the study, told __The Scientist__. "It's a rare but nonetheless very instructive incident of a dead copy of a gene being reactivated," said linkurl:Daniel Fairbanks,;http://lifesciences.byu.edu/old/FacStaff/default.aspx?ID=177 a geneticist at Utah Valley University in Orem who was not involved in the research. "It really documents something that's unusual." Eichler and his colleagues reconstructed the evolutionary history of an immune-related gene called __IRGM__ among humans and seven other primate species. They discovered that a cluster of related gene copies found in...
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