Discoveries about the variability of the human genome help shed light on disease and evolution.

The old thinking held that coiled in our cells, we all carry the same instruction book with just a few alternative spellings. But upon closer scrutiny, it appears our DNA is full of long strings of genetic code that are copied sometimes hundreds of times, the number of copies varying wildly from person to person. Last year, scientists found that your odds of getting infected with HIV after an unprotected sexual encounter with someone who has the virus depend partly on how many copies you carry of a gene called CCL3L1.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/13/2006 | Nobody's perfect

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