Genome Clutter

Gaaah – this place is so cluttered! Do I NEED all this stuff?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying…maybe!

Just like that overstuffed closet, your body is crammed with different proteins. Your genes contain blueprints for all of them. But some proteins have multiple, possibly less efficient, blueprints! Why does your body keep these duplicates instead of Kondo-Mari-ing them out?

Meet Tatiana Domitrovic and Fernando Palhano from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. They examined public databases of gene sequences and proteins. Think: catalogues of genetic wardrobes, showcasing proteins and their blueprints.

And? They discovered that there’s an important story to each gene! Choosing an “inefficient” sequence might be the body’s way of producing LESS of that protein! Need more? Choose a more “efficient” one instead!

Imbalances in protein can lead to diseases like cancer or cystic fibrosis. Like the DOZENS of tops and bottoms hanging in my closet, this discovery gives scientists more outfits – I mean options — when making gene therapies!

Hmmm…do these mom jeans give me joy? YES! And those biological GENES too.