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Scientists have devised a new computational model that can be used to reveal genetic regulatory elements responsible for development of the human heart and maintenance of its function.
Although the teams focused on the heart, the computational method they developed is broadly applicable to other tissues, and was successfully used to identify regulatory elements for cells of the limbs and brain. Cataloging these regulatory sequences may improve understanding of diseases and lays the groundwork for improved medical treatments.
The research, conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the University of Chicago, is published in the March 2010 issue of Genome Research and is available online.