The National Center for Biotechnology Information website is one of my favorite websites ( It can be used for many things. You can look up articles in various databases such as PubMed and PubChem. You can mine the genome using a BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) search, and you can get information about how to locate a Genetics Professional and how to submit your genetics test to the Genetic Testing Registry where they can give you information about your genetics test were you to have one done.

When you mine the genome you are attempting to study individual-gene expression. Some genes code for proteins, some for various regulatory RNAs, regulatory DNA elements such as enhancers or promoters, or they could code for functional elements such as binding sites for proteins.  

Scientists study gene expression to understand a gene’s basic biology and regulation, understand genetic variation (sequence changes) in the regulatory elements, understand factors that make gene expression go wrong, to work on the prevention and treatment and diseases, and to explore gene expression in the biotech industry, agriculture. Today, we often use genetically modified fruits and vegetables that were created, in part, by exploring their gene expression.

When scientists study gene expression they can focus on one or a few genes or numerous genes. The sequences of these genes are obtained through Northern or Southern Blot tests that are submitted to NCBI molecular databases by various scientists.

As a result, you can look up whatever gene is currently available. The human genome and many other organisms genomes have already be sequenced. One can browse through the genes, read articles, and find out what genes are in what organisms and how they work in these organisms. It is very interesting, especially when one finds genes like the p53 tumor protein gene which encodes for the tumor protein, p53. This protein responds to many different cellular stresses and regulates target genes that can lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis (cell death), senescence, DNA repair and changes in metabolism.

p53, the guardian of the genome is found in many organisms, so it’s a great to use when doing phylogenetic studies. Below is a list of the organisms that it is found in:

 1.       human

 2.       chimpanzee

 3.       Sumatran orangutan

 4.       Northern white-cheeked gibbon

 5.       Rhesus monkey

 6.       African green monkey

 7.       crab-eating macaque

 8.       Japanese macaque

 9.       white-tufted-ear marmoset

 10.   woodchuck

 11.   Judean mountains blind mole rat

 12.   European Rabbit

 13.   cattle

 14.   beluga whale

 15.   pig

 16.   sheep

 17.   domestic cat

 18.   horse

19.   African savanna elephant