Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
Gene mapping is the process of establishing the locations of genes on the chromosomes. Early gene maps used linkage analysis. The closer two genes are to each other on the chromosome, the more likely it is that they will be inherited together. By following inheritance patterns, the relative positions of genes can be determined. More recently, scientists have used recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques to establish the actual physical locations of genes on the chromosomes.
One type of physical map of DNA represents the locations of genes along the chromosome. There are various methods that have been used over the years to deduce gene maps of genomes. Nowadays, the most accurate and efficient approach for building gene maps involves sequencing a genome--or part of a genome--and then using various computer programs to analyze the sequence and identify genes within the sequence. Such a sequence-based approach gives a very precise map of each gene and its subcomponents.
Name: Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.
Occupation: Director, NHGRI
Biography: Dr. Green's research focuses on three major areas: First, sequencing and comparing targeted stretches of DNA from a wide variety of species en route to unraveling the complexities of genome function; second, developing innovative research tools and technologies for performing genome analysis; and third, identifying and characterizing genes associated with human disease. In his multiple roles as scientific director of NHGRI, chief of the Genome Technology Branch, and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC), he has fundamental interests in mapping, sequencing, and interpreting vertebrate genomes.