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Two remarkable discoveries have been revealed by researchers into genome analysis of Leishmania parasites. These results uncovered a surprising level of variation at the genome structure level.

First, they found that the DNA sequence of individual strains of each species populations is almost completely identical. It appears that only a small number of genes may cause different symptoms of infection. Second, the parasite’s evolutionary development and success may be driven by a genetic abnormality leading to multiple copies of chromosomes that would kill most organisms. This process leads to multiple copies of chromosomes and genes known as copy number variation. These studies increase our understanding of the process of drug resistance in Leishmania.

((both studies were published in Genome Research: source 1 and source 2))

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