Sea anenome genomics

Whilst not strictly related to climate change, a fascinating study on sea anemome genome recently published in the journal Science is well worth mentioning (link to article, link to news story). Researchers studying the DNA sequence of the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis) – typically considered a “simple” organism with no central nervous system, simple receptors and a shared mouth / anus (Phylum Cnidaria, mostly marine organisms including corals and jellyfish) – revealed remarkable similarities with vertebrate DNA.

When examining the anemone genome for 283 human genes involved in human diseases, 226 were present in the anemone DNA. The evolutionary implications of this are vast – and surprising, too, when considered that the anemone genome may reveal more about the evolution of humans than any other closely related organisms.

1 thought on “Sea anenome genomics

  1. This was a great study that will, pardon the irony, provide a “backbone” for a better understanding of animal evolution. I posted about this paper and the Buddenbrockia paper in the same issue of Science on my invertebrate blog, The Other 95%.

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