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Human chromosome 6 sequenced completely in UK
( 2003-10-23 10:42) (Xinhua)

British scientists describe the DNA sequence and analysis of human chromosome 6, the seventh completed and fully analyzed human chromosome, said a report to the science journal Nature to be published on Thursday.

Mungall A. J. and his colleagues from the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, sequenced more than 166 million base pairs on the chromosome, which make it the largest human chromosome to be completely analyzed and published so far.

Chromosomes 22, 21, 20, 14, Y and 7 have already been fully analyzed and the results published recently.

In their report, scientists from the institute describe 2,190 gene structures, with evidence that 1,557 of them are functional genes and 633 are pseudogenes, that is, inactive genes.

Chromosome 6 is best known as the home of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a region of 3.6 million chemical bases that has an essential role in immune systems, according to the journal.

The PARK2 gene, which is involved in a form of Parkinson's disease that strikes early, and HFE gene which is linked to hereditary haemochromatosis are also on chromosome 6.

Gene abnormalities on chromosome 6 are also implicated as a contributory cause of several genetically complex diseases, including schizophrenia, epilepsy, cancer and heart disease.

The sequencing of the human genome, the complete list of coded instructions needed to make a person, was finally completed by a team of international scientists in April. Researchers are now analyzing each chromosome to understand the genetic basis of human body thoroughly.

Adding the more than 166 million chemical base pairs of chromosome 6 to those of the six others that have already been finished gives a total 500 million bases of fully analyze human sequence, which is only 17% of the 2.8 billion base pairs of the total sequence.

Full analysis of the remaining 17 chromosomes should be well worth the wait, said the journal. Enditem nnnn 

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