The guessing game: searching the ZRS haystack for mutations

On Monday we had a state-of-the-crowdfunding meeting. We’re all really excited that we’ve already raised 28% of the money, and we’d love to share some of that excitement with you. So, after some discussion Daniel and Darío persuaded their boss to pay for a lucky-guess sequencing. This means we’re applying a magnifying glass at only a tiny part of the genome, because we’re hoping we might find something there. Basically, while searching for a needle in a whole bunch of haystacks, we’ve decided to focus on a single one (you can read more about different strategies for finding needles in genomic haystacks in our previous post: How to find a mutation? – Needles and haystacks).

The haystack we’ve decided to focus on is called the ZRS. The function and discovery of the ZRS warrants multiple blog posts in it’s own right, so let’s just say it’s a decent haystack to look at. First of all, it’s rather small: about 800 basepairs (building blocks of DNA), and only 0.000028% of the genome. Second, we know that there are a bunch of human patients, chicken, dogs and other cats with polydactyly, who all have mutations in the ZRS, so we figured: if we have to make a single guess this will be it.

poly

Polydactyly happens in many different species

Daniel started the experiments on Monday. We’ll keep you posted with progress!

– Uschi

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