List of chromosomes

Chromosome 16

Chromosome 16 Chromosome 16

Fossil genes, Nature’s flotsam

In a day and age when productivity drives society, it is strange to own genes that seem to be of no use. There they lie in our genome, like sunken ships that have been washed ashore. And, just like wrecks, they are part of the memory of ancient times. This said, though they are inactive genes today, they are still able to reveal precious information about the past of the human species.

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Muscle repair

Piezo1: gene coding for a protein that is essential for the coordination of cellular response in the event of muscle damage. This protein could promote muscle regeneration in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


BCKDK : This gene is involved in a form of autism, which can be treated with a certain diet.

marble bones

CLCN7: gene coding for a protein involved in chloride transport. When defective, this gene causes marble bone disease (osteopetrosis), a rare genetic disease characterized by abnormally dense bones.


MC1R: This gene is involved in the colour of skin, hair (red) and eyes. Curiously, it also influences the efficiency of anaesthetics used by dentists.

taxi bubbles

FHOD1: This gene is involved in the formation of intracellular transport vesicles.

weight problem

FTO: This gene is involved in obesity.

ear wax

MRP8: This gene is involved in the quality of our earwax. Europeans have wet wax while Japanese have dry wax.

a taxi for oxygen

HBA2: This gene codes for hemoglobin, the protein which transports oxygen in our blood.