Re: Human Genome May Be Longer Than Expected
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 08:07:55 EDT

In a message dated 8/5/99 4:58:44 PM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

> GM>Nothing happens to that claim. The claim was made using standard
> >sampling techniques and didn't involve a base-pair by base-pair
> >If they had done that, it would have been noticed earlier that the genome
> >might be a bit longer. Sampling techniques are done all the time and are
> >fairly accurate at assessing things.
> Glenn is not be correct here that "The claim was made using standard
> sampling techniques", at least in the original 1975 study by King & Wilson:

Actually, Glenn is quite correct. You cannot use the DNA hybridization
technique on whole intact eukaryotic DNA because it is too big. Instead you
have to cut it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. However, you cannot
test every piece, because now there are too many of them, so you use standard
sampling techniques to select the pieces that will be tested. You might end
up testing less than 1/100th of 1% of the entire mass of DNA, but if the
sampling techniques were done properly you should have a representative
sampling of pieces that will give you a result applicable for the whole
eukaryotic DNA. King and Wilson may not describe this part, but that's what
they did nonetheless.

Kevin L. O'Brien