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Method quickly surveys yeast genome by gene function, not sequence

Siew Loon Ooi, a graduate student in Boeke's lab, tested a repair process that fixes DNA that has breaks in both strands. Normally a matching set of two strands, DNA may be irreparably damaged if both strands break in the same area. By adding what would seem to be "broken" DNA to the yeast, the scientists tested the mutants' abilities to fix these breaks.

In the experiments, strains died if their missing gene was required for repairing these breaks, and their barcodes then were absent from the analyzed microarray. In addition to identifying genes already tied to this type of DNA repair, Ooi found that a new gene, called NEJ1, also is crucial in the process. Two other groups have also reported finding NEJ1's function by using other methods.

The method identifies genes crucial in a given process, but detailed examination of those genes and their mutants is needed to figure out exactly how the genes work, notes Boeke. He, Shoemaker and Ooi authored the paper.


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Contact: Joanna Downer
jdowner1@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
24-Dec-2001


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