Honors Theses


Thomas Williams



Publication Date

Spring 4-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The human genome consists of over 3 billion base pairs, but only about 2% of this extensive supply of genetic information is recognized as a functional protein coding sequence. The remaining 98% was once considered to be “junk DNA” that lacked functional elements. Recently, this assumption has been replaced by an understanding that the non-coding genome contains many functional elements involved in gene regulation. These elements include promoters, or the region where gene expression is initiated, and enhancers, which communicate to promoters information about the cells in a body and when a specific gene’s expression should be ON or OFF. My thesis research aims to develop and utilize a transgenic system to track the communication between enhancers and promoters in the fruit fly species Drosophila melanogaster, and eventually map the functional sequences for each gene of interest. Because promoters and enhancers are genetic components of all eukaryotic organisms, the system developed here can be applied to the genes of other organisms, including humans.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


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