List of chromosomes

Chromosome 17

Chromosome 17 Chromosome 17

Bioinformatics for reading the past

Since the 19th century, paleontologists have been ‘reading’ fossils to get a greater understanding of how species evolved. Biologists recently demonstrated that genes and proteins can be just as ‘readable’.

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dry skin

ALOX12B/ALOXE3 : These two genes are involved in keeping our skin hydrated.


ST6GALNAC1: gene coding for a protein that adds sugars to mucus proteins, particularly in the intestinal mucus. Mucus integrity is essential for good cohabitation with our microbiota.

big children

GH1: This gene codes for a hormone involved in child growth.

cells that multiply

BRCA1: Gene involved in cell proliferation, associated in particular with breast cancer.


HLF: This gene may be involved in epilepsy. The gene was discovered by the cleaning staff while vacuuming the animal care facilities at the University of Geneva!

neuron sculptor

MAPT: This gene codes for the tau protein, which is important for neuron structure and involved in certain forms of dementia.

qui dort dîne

HCRT: This gene codes for a protein which regulates our appetite and our sleep.

on skin, hair and nails

KRT31: This gene codes for keratin, the major component of skin, hair and nails.


CCL5: This gene codes for a protein involved in fighting off infections. When chemically modified, the protein is able to block HIV infection.

taxi to happiness

SLC6A4: This gene codes for a protein which transports serotonin, also known as a ‘happy hormone’.

an inbuilt timekeeper

PER1: This gene is involved in our daily biological rhythms.

the DNA guardian

TP53: This gene codes for a protein which is responsible for the integrity of our DNA. When defective, it is associated with the development of certain cancers.

the effects of morphine

ARRB2: This gene codes for a protein which regulates the effects of morphine.

love at first smell

OR1D2: This gene codes for a sperm protein involved in producing an odour which plays an important role in fertilisation.