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Modern DNA sequencing boosts biological research


Narrator:       This is Science Today. The advent of DNA sequencing has significantly accelerated biological research and discovery. Kathryn Pollard, an associate investigator at the University of California, San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes, says it was not long ago that scientists only had the sequence of an individual human.

Pollard:          But now, because DNA sequencing has become more accessible and less expensive, there's sequences for lots of different humans from diverse populations around the world becoming available.

Narrator:       This information will help scientists like Pollard better understand some of the more recent events in human evolution that make humans different from each other. This can be helpful when studying disease. Pollard's lab is also looking into what makes humans as a group different from Neanderthals.

Pollard:          We're trying to understand when this human sequence changes happened: Did it predate the time when Neanderthals and humans had a common ancestor about a million years ago?  Was it longer than that or was it more recent?

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.