1.What percentage of our genes do we share with a chimp?
2.What percentage of our genes do we share with a mouse?
3.Our genetic code is wrapped up into 46 organisational structures called ‘chromosomes’. How many chromosomes does a butterfly have?
4.If you were to start reciting the order of your genetic code tomorrow morning, letter by letter at 1 per second, how many years would pass before you reached the end (no breaks!)?
5. If the total DNA in one person were laid in a straight line, how many times would it stretch to the sun and back (distance 93 million miles)?
6.How many genes (approximately) do we have in thousands?
7. How much of our DNA codes for proteins?
8. An onion has how many times more DNA than we do?
Each answer is true and I beleive, shows the complexity and confusion that genetics presents to MND researchers. I hope you found this interesting!
Looking back, 2010 has held some important discoveries in the world of MND genetic research to find the answers to what causes MND. A number of MND causing gene mistakes were discovered including Optineurin and VCP. Our very own DNA bank was also used in a study which confirmed that a region of DNA within chromosome 9 plays an important role in both sporadic and familial forms of MND and a form of dementia called fronto-temporal dementia. MND research is moving forward at an exciting pace and we hope that next year will be equally (if not more) exciting.
We hope that you will continue to follow our blog in 2011 and we wish you a very Happy New Year from all of us in the research development team at the MND Association.
(Dr Brian Dickie, Deanna Packham, Dr Belinda Cupid, Kelly Johnstone, Kate Arkell, Dr Sadie Vile, Natasha Rowe and Marion Reichle)