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Fragment Analyzer helps unravel the genetics of a classic biology example

Published: Friday, June 17th, 2016
Tags: Corporate News, Fragment Analyzer, Publications

Researchers identify the genetic elements behind a widely taught example of microevolution.

The story of the peppered moth is a classic example of microevolution taught in contemporary biology courses. Biologists in the United Kingdom noted the darkening of the peppered moths’ wings in response to coal soot blackened tree trunks during the Industrial Revolution. While this was a clear example of microevolution, the genetics behind this change were unknown until recently. As first reported in Nature earlier this month, and later discussed in the New York Times, researchers at the University of Liverpool have now identified the genetics behind this characteristic example of evolution.

Using a comprehensive molecular approach, researchers identified a transposon, designated carb-TE, that interrupts the function of cortex, a gene associated with wing development. The Fragment Analyzer™ played an important role in this discovery by characterizing exonic splice variants that were used in the measurement of variant size, concentration, and ultimately in the calculation of relative abundance of exonic variants.

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