Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - Page 13 News List

How Skippy got his hop: kangaroo genome is sequenced
袋鼠基因測序完成 袋鼠「只跳不走」有譜

A kangaroo stands among iron ore boulders near the port of Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia on April 19.

Photo: Reuters

An international team of researchers last Friday said they had sequenced the first genome of a kangaroo, a project aimed at pinpointing the genes that give the marsupial its remarkable abilities to hop and smell.

The DNA code of the tammar wallaby is presented in Genome Biology, published by British-based open-access science publishers BioMed Central.

The pint-sized ‘roo measures only 45cm from head to tailtip and has long intrigued biologists.

It has a 12-month gestation of which 11 months is a period of suspended animation in the womb. At birth, the young weigh only half a gram, and spend nine months in the mother’s pouch for protection as they grow.

The wallaby joins more than 130 other organisms to have its genome unraveled.

They include humans, the chimpanzee, dog, rat, mouse and rabbit, as well as valuable crops, fungi and the fruit fly, a standard model for lab research.










1. pinpoint v.

找出 (zhao3 chu1)

例: Researchers have yet to pinpoint a cure for the disease.


2. -based adj.

所在地在…的 (suo3 zai4 di4 zai4 … de5)

例: The Hong Kong-based newspaper has local editions available in Vancouver, Toronto and New York.


3. unravel v.

破解 (po4 jie3)

例: They are still unraveling the mysteries of the human genome.


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