Irish scientist Aoife McLysaght studies how our DNA diverged from that of other species to learn about behavior and diseases.
Half a billion years ago, humans shared an ancestor with primates. McLysaght compares natural selection to musical chairs; genetic changes can lead to survival or to disease.
McLysaght studies gene duplication to identify disease factors. She explains how a healthy gene can imbalance the protein complex assembly process if duplicated.
McLysaght compares DNA of schizophrenia patients with DNA of other primates. Evolutionary new genes are likely candidates. Her team's discoveries can be used to develop therapies.
McLysaght hopes her studies of human genetic evolution will improve quality of life among disease patients.
Credits: Genetic Evolution: The Science Squad
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This program looks at the evolution of genes and investigates how we can use this understanding to potentially help treat health problems associated with certain genetic diseases, offering those affected the possibility of living longer and much healthier lives.
Length: 8 minutes
Copyright date: ©2012
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