Lamprey genome may lead to cures for human diseases

Capital News Service
LANSING – Genetic mapping of sea lamprey may lead to ways to control the invader and improve human health, new research suggests. A team of scientists has assembled the sea lamprey genome, providing insight into how to control the invasive species that has terrorized the Great Lakes basin since the late 1800s. That same research could help cure a rare disease in human newborns and further the study of degenerative brain disease. Researchers said that decoding the lamprey’s DNA has revealed genetic factors that enable it to survive and thrive in the Great Lakes. In addition to the invasive species, two types of lamprey are native to the Great Lakes – silver lamprey and American brook lamprey.