Mentors: Or Zuk and Amanda Socha
Variation in gene sequences between mammals does not play a solitary role in the diversity of those mammals. It has been hypothesized that differences in gene regulation, i.e. which genes are turned on and off in certain tissues, also contribute significantly to organismal diversity. To investigate these differences, Nida and her mentors used microarray technology to compare gene expression of all genes in the human and mouse genome in eight different tissues.
Overall, Nida’s analysis demonstrated high conservation of expression between corresponding tissues in human and mouse. Nida identified specific sets of genes that exhibit high conservation of expression, which were enriched in genes involved in development, ion transport, and other processes. Nida then analyzed gene sets that show a consistent difference in expression between human and mouse in certain tissues, most notably in lung and liver. These genes will be investigated experimentally to provide insight in the gene expression differences that set mammals apart.
Nida, a senior at Boston Latin School, compared gene expression patterns in eight different tissues from human and mouse.