Scientists map female genetic sequence

DUTCH scientists have said they have mapped the full genetic sequence of a woman for the first time.

“It’s the first woman in the world and the first European whose DNA sequence will be made public,” said the researchers at Leiden University Medical Centre in the western Netherlands.

“The DNA sequence and its analyses will be published soon, except for some private details.”

Gert-Jan van Ommen, head of the research team, said the “sequencing of a woman allows a better understanding of the X-chromosome” or gene thread associated with female characteristics. Four other genomes had been mapped previously, all of them men.

Genes are the blueprints of life, carrying the evolved traits (good or bad) from one generation to the next. Researchers expect a better understanding of the human genome will lead to disease cures and treatments.

Van Ommen said “it was time, after sequencing four males, to balance the genders a bit”.

The first human DNA sequencing was presented in 2001, of a composite of multiple people. The DNA sequences of James Watson, discoverer of the DNA’s double helix structure, came in 2007. The DNA of gene hunter Craig Venter has also been published.


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