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Scientists peck away at chicken genome

The chicken joined the likes of people, chimpanzees, mice and the roundworm Monday, with its rough genetic code mapped out and published for all to see.
/ Source: Reuters

The chicken joined the likes of people, chimpanzees, mice and the roundworm Monday, with its rough genetic code mapped out and published for all to see.

The National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, said the first draft of the chicken genome had been published. It is the first bird genome to be mapped.

Richard Wilson and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis assembled the genome of the red jungle fowl, known scientifically as Gallus gallus and the ancestor of domestic chickens.

An international team led by China’s Beijing Genomics Institute has also mapped the genetic variation for three different strains of domestic chickens.

The information may be useful for scientists trying to find ways to fight recent outbreaks of avian flu.