Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DNA to flutter by

The first long-distance insect, the Monarch Butterfly, has had their genome completed and deciphered in a genetic instruction book. By sequencing these genes, scientist have found a protein that can help the butterflies navigate the sun and fir trees in Mexico. Mexico is the location where the Monarch Butterflies spend their winter. The genome of the butterfly is made up of 273 million DNA units. Within these million of DNA units, there were complete sets of genes for juvenile hormone which butterflies use to kick start reproduction. The genes of Monarch Butterflies are similar to those of the silk moths. The scientists also unearthed from the genome a gear previously thought to be missing from the butterfly’s daily, or circadian, clock, which helps the monarchs maintain a straight path.

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