GENOME OF A BEAVER CAN HELP FIGHT DISEASE

Jan 13, 2017

By Christine Ross

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Scientists have a gift for Canada’s 150th birthday and as presents go, it’s certainly unique. A team of molecular geneticists at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has sequenced the genome of the Canadian beaver to mark the country’s sesquicentennial. Scientist Stephen Scherer says his team developed a new approach to mapping genomes and decided to use it first on the animal that is Canada’s national symbol.The technology will be used to better map genomes of families affected by autism to determine if any mutated genes are behind the neurological condition. Scherer’s lab has already found that about 20 per cent of autism cases are caused by genetic mutations.

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