Life,  Tech

Human DNA: a puzzle of 3 billion pieces

The human genome is the blueprint for our species. It contains approximately 3 billion base pairs of DNA, divided into 23 pairs of chromosomes. But what makes our DNA so unique from other species? A new study published in the journal Science attempted to answer this question by comparing the human genome to that of 240 mammals.

Researchers have identified around 27,000 regions of the human genome that show significant differences from other mammals. These regions, called regulatory elements, are responsible for controlling gene expression, that is, when and where genes turn on or off. Regulatory elements are essential for the development and functioning of cells, tissues and organs.

Among the regulatory elements specific to humans, the researchers highlighted those involved in the development of the brain, nervous system, language, cognition and sociability. These characteristics are considered distinctive traits of the human species. The researchers also found regulatory elements related to immune defense, digestion, metabolism and reproduction.

The study shows that the human genome is not just a collection of genes, but also a complex and dynamic set of regulations that modulate gene expression depending on the context. These regulations are the result of millions of years of evolution and diversification from other species. They are also likely to influence our health, our behavior and our adaptation to the environment.

The human genome is therefore a puzzle of 3 billion pieces, some of which are unique to our species. By identifying and understanding them, we can better understand what makes us human.

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