Comparative gene mapping: a valuable new tool for mammalian developmental studies.
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Technological advances in the 1970s encouraged the mapping of homologous gene loci in different mammalian species, including mouse and man. One hundred eighty-five homologous loci have now been mapped in these two species. Conservation of linkage is sufficient to identify substantial segments of the two genomes that have been left intact since their divergence from a common ancestor. The recognition of these conserved segments allows experimental manipulation of mouse chromosomes or chromosomal regions to produce models of human chromosomal anomalies of medical importance. Comparative gene mapping has been extended beyond mouse and man and the genomes of some species, including domestic cattle, appear to be more highly conserved relative to humans than the mouse. Such species may be particularly useful in providing models of human chromosomal anomalies that cannot be duplicated in laboratory mice.
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