Snake Genomics

Among vertebrates, snakes have always been obviously unique and interesting. Not until recently, however, have we discovered that they are excellent model organisms for a truly impressive and broad diversity of biomedical research. They have become an important model for heart development, as well as physiological and metabolic cycling and control. They have become a centerpiece of developmental research on limb development, vertebral development and segmentation, as well as overall osteological development. Many snakes are also venomous: snake venom is not only of great interest for the development of antivenoms with which to treat snakebite, but certain proteins in snake and lizard venoms are becoming surprisingly important chemotheraputics. Most recently, snakes have become a model of extreme protein evolutionary redesign, suggesting that a greater understanding of protein evolution in snakes could provide novel insight into the origins and functionality of many critical biochemical pathways in humans, and other vertebrates. 

Our aim, in general, is to increase the availability of snake genomic resources to facilitate continued innovative research on these important model organisms. An integral part of this resource includes the recruitment of, and interaction among a working group of researchers interested in utilizing snake genomic resources.
a Consortium for Snake Genomics
Snakes are a model for
Early vertebrate genome structure
Protein adaptation
Metabolic regulation
Limb development
Mitochondrial evolution and function
Early embryonic developmental timing
Physiological regulation
Heart development and disease
Venom evolution
Sex chromosome evolution
Transposable element evolution
Role of TEs in adaptation
Chemotheraputic compound discovery 
Chemical ecology
Function of vertebrate respiratory proteins
Website maintained by Todd Castoe
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Dec 2013 - is undergoing a complete update and revision - Check back soon for more updates