Importance of genetic maps, Mary-Claire King

Interviewee: Mary-Claire King. Mary-Claire King talks about the tedious process of hunting for genes in the days before genetic maps (based on thousands of markers) were readily available. (DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene hunting > Markers > Moving slowly)

What made that sort of search possible in families like this, and there were 22 of them in our original study, was the development of a genetic map. When we first started the work, we and lots of other groups like us were developing the map as we went along. By the time that BRCA1 was ultimately identified in 1994, the map was essentially in place, thousands of markers had been placed on the map, what had taken me 17 years to do, between the, from the early Seventies until 1990 could be done now in weeks. It was the existence of the map was a phenomenal tool. So what we need to solve these problems are: families like this who will talk to us, keep talking to us over the years, and let us work with their DNA; maps, genetic maps; and then the capacity to know what sequence lies between markers in the genome.

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