Greg Wray, Duke University: "Positive selection on non-coding sequences during human evolution: From genome to nucleotide"

Mar 4 2008, 11:00 am
Distinguished Lecture Series Guest Speaker: 

Greg Wray

Professor, Department of Biology
Duke University

Date & Time: 
Tuesday March 04, 2008
Location: 
Klaus 1116W
Abstract: 
The availability of genome sequences from several primates is opening an exciting window into the genetic basis for human evolution. We are developing statistical approaches to detect positive selection on regulatory sequences across the genome that correlate with adaptations during human origins. These studies point to more extensive adaptation through gene regulation than protein function, and highlight neurogenesis and carbohydrate metabolism as functional categories of genes that experienced adaptive modifications in regulatory sequences. We are also working on ways to identify the impact on transcription from mutations in the regulatory regions that have experienced positive selection, using both in vivo and in vitro functional assays. The modest genetic divergence between humans and chimpanzees means that causal mutations can be identified in favorable cases, providing a direct link between specific genetic and trait changes during human evolution. 
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