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Study Finds Staggering Similarity Among Human, Fly And Worm Genome

Update Date: Aug 29, 2014 09:59 AM EDT

In an analysis, researchers have found that human, fly and worm genomes are more similar than we would think, according to a new study. 

The commonalities offer insight into embryonic development, gene regulation and other biological processes important to understand human biology and disease. 

Researchers studied 67 billion gene sequences from humans, flies and worms to find that all three species share similar gene expression patterns, particularly for developmental genes. 

"One way to describe and understand the human genome is through comparative genomics and studying model organisms," Mark Gerstein from Yale University, lead author on one of the papers, said in a NHGRI news release. "The special thing about the worm and fly is that they are very distant from humans evolutionarily, so finding something conserved across all three - human, fly and worm - tells us it is a very ancient, fundamental process."

Further, the species had similar features of chromatin, the analysis found.

"These findings give us a map of highly important regions of the genome that will guide the scientific community in future research projects related to cell biology and, in extension, to disease," Sarah Djebali, co-author of one of the papers, added in a press release.

The study has been published in the journal Nature

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