Menu

Double Duplication

Two whole genome duplications boosted the complexity of the ancestor of all vertebrates, but also introduced potential for disease.

Jul 24, 2012
Hayley Dunning

More than 500 million years ago, the DNA of a primitive chordate sea creature underwent two successive doublings, allowing for the evolution of the complex internal communication between cells that led to the evolution of vertebrates.

Now, researchers have sequenced the genome of the amphioxus, a modern marine invertebrate that did not undergo the genome duplications and is believed to be similar to the original vertebrate ancestor. By comparing the amphioxus genome to the human genome, the study, published today (July 24) in Open Biology, provides insights into how the duplications boosted cells' ability to integrate information, but also reveals how breakdowns in cellular communication cause diseases like cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

“Amazingly, what happened so long ago still affects the life and diseases of modern humans,” said co-author Carol MacKintosh, of the University of Dundee, in a press release. MacKintosh and colleagues are investigating the protein-coding gene duplicates that stem from the two genome doublings to understand their influence on modern humans. "We already have clues about important questions, such as why did only certain genes survive the DNA doublings, how did they shape vertebrate evolution, and what is their impact on human health and diseases?”

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
High-throughput spheroid microplate benefits cancer research, drug screening