Silenced Genes Can No Longer Stay Hidden
12/13/2007 12:44:07 AM
A program that teaches itself to recognise the DNA patterns in silenced genes could help us better understand many diseases.
Mammals, including us, have two copies of each gene: one from the mother and one from the father. Normally, both are expressed, but occasionally one is imprinted, or silenced, which gives the other the deciding role. If this active gene is a mutation that would otherwise have been recessive, it can lead to disease. Conversely, if the silenced gene is harmful in some way, imprinting can be beneficial.