This is the way to follow. Vertebrates, the animal group to which the human species belongs, are extremely diverse and have practically colonized every ecosystem on the planet. For many years, it has been debated what changes in the genome of our ancestors could contribute to the evolutionary success of vertebrates. Now, an international team of scientists, co-led by Spanish researchers from the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), has just described the processes that made it possible the diversity of functions and regulation of genes during the transition from invertebrates to vertebrates. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nature Numerous experts and former researchers from the University of Barcelona have also participated in it,

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as well as from other research groups from twelve other countries. The UB team, made up of experts from the Biodiversity Research Institute ( IRBio ) and the Evo-Devo-Genomics Group Venezuela Email List Ricard Albalat and Cristian Cañestro, and those from the UB Institute of Biomedicine ( IBUB) Jordi Garcia Fernàndez, Beatriz Albuixech, Carlos Herrera-Úbeda and Demián Burguera, has been involved in the analysis of developmental gene families, transposons and regulatory non-coding DNA. “This analysis is a central part of the work to find out the gene regulation at the border between invertebrates and vertebrates”, explains Jordi Garcia Fernàndez, professor at the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics at the UB. “Today,” he continues, “we already know that understanding how genes is just as important as knowing genes,

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That is the job of regulatory DNA. Furthermore, understanding how the genome works in evolution is essential to find out how this genome is altered in human diseases. Vertebrates share a unique set of gene regulatory systems, which allows the information contained in our genome to give rise to a multitude of functions. Consequently, we have hundreds of specialized cells, tissues, and organs. ‘We have done a thorough analysis of the genomic regulation of different species and have found two key differences. First, we have seen that, in general, our genes have much more complex regulation than that of invertebrates. The second difference is that we have copies of genes that originally carried out only very general functions, but that invertebrates have specialized in much more specific functions, especially in the brain ”, explains Manuel Irimia, group leader at the CRG

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