Saturday, December 11, 2004 -- Genome sequencing -- Genome sequencing:

This week, researchers led from the Beijing Institute of Genomics, have published in Science the genome of Bombyx mori, the domesticated silkworm. The first avian genome sequenced, that of the chicken, was also announced this week, in Nature. Dr Wong's team from the Beijing Institute also made a significant contribution by comparing the genome of the wild red jungle fowl of South East Asia, the ancestor of the domestic chicken, with several agricultural varieties.

"The sequencing of new genomes is now becoming so commonplace that in one sense it scarcely merits reporting. But the addition of these two to the repertoire is important for two reasons. First, it confirms China's rise to prominence as a power in the world of genomics. Second, it allows biologists to start comparing species from related, but not too closely related, groups of organisms. The line that led to birds separated from the one that led to mammals some 310m years ago. The separation of the moth line from the fly line happened at about the same time."

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