Public Release: 

Further facts from the songbird genome

BioMed Central

With the sequencing of the zebra finch genome, a new resource has been made available to biologists of many disciplines. A thematic series published by BioMed Central, the open access publisher, touches upon several of their unique insights.

As part of the series, a study published in BMC Neuroscience presents key information on genes related to steroid receptors and estrogen biosynthesis. Researchers writing in BMC Genomics provide insights into how proteases may shape neuron-functional, immunological and developmental processes, as well as the identity and expression patterns of neuropeptides involved in the development and functionality of brain circuits involved in vocal communication.

According to Raphael Pinaud, writing in the Journal of Biology, "Over the next few years these efforts will contribute to an integrative understanding of how the songbird genomic machinery responds to environmental and physiological challenges and, more broadly, how the songbird brain is functionally organized. In addition, active research in these areas is expected to shed light on basic biological and evolutionary principles in vertebrates".


Notes to Editors

1. The full thematic series is available at the BioMed Central website:

It includes the papers mentioned above:

Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17 beta-HSD type 4
Sarah E Londo, Yuichiro Itoh, Valentin A Lance, Petra M Wise, Preethika S Ekanayake, Randi K Oyama, Arthur P Arnold and Barney A Schlinger
BMC Neuroscience 2010, 11:47 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-11-47

Comparative genomic analysis of the zebra finch degradome provides new insights into evolution of proteases in birds and mammals
Victor Quesada, Gloria Velasco, Xose S Puente, Wesley C Warren and Carlos Lopez-Otin
BMC Genomics 2010, 11:220 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-220

Genome of a songbird unveiled
Raphael Pinaud
Journal of Biology 2010, 9:19 doi:10.1186/jbiol222

2. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

3. Beyond the Genome:
The true gene count, human evolution and disease genomics
Joseph B. Martin Conference Center,
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
11th - 13th October 2010

This international conference brings together leading researchers and industry representatives who will review recent progress in key areas of post-genomic research in biology and medicine and chart future developments, including the Human Microbiome Project and the resequencing of matched tumour and normal genomes from specific types of cancers. Those already coming are seeking to keep abreast with the latest developments in key areas and initiatives that are at the forefront of genomic research.

Media passes now available. Email to register your interest

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