Yale researchers have discerned the functions of a third of the genes in the yeast genome, using a novel method of DNA insertion that can be applied to other organisms. The new tool will allow researchers not only to identify genes, said principal investigator Michael Snyder, Ph.D., but figure out what they do. “That is going to be the next big challenge,” he said. Snyder and his interdisciplinary team followed, using chemical markers, a mutated, bacterially derived strain of DNA as it interacted with yeast genes and proteins. They observed at what point in the yeast’s life cycle genes were expressed, where in the cell proteins were located and what disruptions the mutated DNA caused. Their results were published in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Nature.