Under the direction of Pieter
de Jong, PhD, human DNA was cloned in bacteria and stored. The DNA
samples are stored in 40 large refrigerators with temperatures of 80
C at the lab, ready to be shipped to research centers throughout the world.
This library of DNA has been the source for the vast majority
(85%) of the DNA analyzed by the National Institutes of Health Human Genome
While the messages have been read, these clones will continue to
be analyzed, Pieter said. They will continue to be used by
more and more scientists for many years to come.
Pieter and his team will be collecting more DNA samples and cloning them
for other research centers. This research can lead to discovering
more about genetic diseases in the hope of finding cures, he said.
In addition, the NIH has committed to use CHORIs mice DNA clones
Though it may be hard to believe, Pieter said, human
DNA and the DNA of a mouse have much in common. These studies have the
potential to benefit us all. By studying genes of other species
and comparing that to those of a human, much can be learned.
CHORI also has cloned the DNA of several other animals. In the near future,
CHORI will receive blood from a Rhesus Macaque to clone its DNA. A small
amount of blood, 20 to 40 ml, is collected from the animal to use to make
the DNA samples.
There is a drive to learn how proteins and genes have evolved so
we can understand them better, said Pieter. By looking at
different species and comparing, for example, the breast cancer gene or
the Alzheimers gene, we can learn more about how to develop pharmaceuticals
and methods to treat these diseases.
Pieters work on the Human Genome Project began several years ago
when he was in New York at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His lab
collected blood samples from 10 men and 10 women. So that no one would
know whose DNA was to be mapped, all but twoone womans and
one mans--- were discarded and these two, selected at random, were
analyzed. He has continued and expanded his work with the project since
his arrival at CHORI a little over one year ago.
Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM