Genomic insights...

Alignment of chicken and human genomes indicates some 2,000 human genes may actually start at sites different than what scientists had thought. This may have an impact on the understanding of human disease and the design of new therapies

Chicken genes that code for eggshell-specific proteins, such as ovocleidin-116, have mammalian counterparts that play a role in bone calcification

Chicken have a gene that codes for interleukin-26 (IL-26), a protein involved in immune response. Previously, this immune-related gene was known only in humans. The discovery means the chicken can be a model organism to study the function of IL-26

Chicken possess genes coding for certain light-dependent enzymes, which mammals have lost. It is believed the losses reflect a period in early history when mammals were active at night

The avian genome contains a gene that codes for an enzyme involved in generating blue colour pigments, which mammals lack.

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