Human-Neanderthal Gene Variance Is Involved In Autism

Human-Neanderthal Gene Variance Is Involved In Autism
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Medical Express

A structure that represents the biggest known genetic difference between humans and Neanderthals also predisposes humans to autism. An international team of researchers led by UW Medicine genome scientist Evan Eichler published the findings today in Nature. The structure involves a segment of DNA on chromosome 16 that contains 28 genes. This segment is flanked by blocks of DNA whose sequences repeat over and over. Such stretches of duplicated DNA, called copy-number variants, are common in the human genome and often contain multiple copies of genes. Although most copy-number variants seem to have no adverse effect on health, some have been linked to disease. However, when both strands of a segment …

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