Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, conducting the study, have suggested that the genetic code varies from individual to individual by almost ten percent.
"Each one of us has a unique pattern of gains and losses of complete sections of DNA. One of the real surprises of these results was just how much of our DNA varies in copy number. We estimate this to be at least 12% of the genome," stated Matthew Hurles, co-author of the study.
According to the researchers, the finding is not only outlining the genetic singleness of humans, but it could also support attempt of preventing, diagnosing and treating certain illnesses.
The scientists, who investigated the human genome, discovered that the missing or duplication of fragments of DNA, known as CNVs ("copy number variations"), could be directly linked to an increasing risk of developing certain diseases.
The Canadian team has drawn the map of human genes after attentively analyzing the DNA of 270 people with European, Asian and African ancestors and has detected nearly 1,440 CNVs in 2,900 genes.
"The copy number variation that researchers had seen before was simply the tip of the iceberg, while the bulk lay submerged, undetected. We now appreciate the immense contribution of this phenomenon to genetic differences between individuals," said Matthew Hurles.
"Many examples of diseases resulting from changes in copy number are emerging. A recent review lists 17 conditions of the nervous system alone - including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease - that can result from such copy number changes," suggested Charles Lee at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, who has contributed at the research.
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