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‘Genome graph’ offers way for scientists to map human gene pool

| | October 11, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[I]t’s becoming painfully clear that the original method that scientists used to compare genomes to each other…is rapidly becoming obsolete. When scientists sequence a new genome, their reconstructions are far from perfect. And those imperfections sometimes cause geneticists to miss a mutation known to cause a disease.

[Benedict] Paten, a computational biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, belongs to a cadre of scientists who are building the tools to look at genomes in a new way: as a single network of DNA sequences, known as a genome graph.

A genome graph should, in theory, be a lot smarter…If a read doesn’t match anything in one genome, it may match one of the others. And once you’ve assembled that new genome, you can add it to the graph, too.

“This graph-based way of thinking is fundamentally a new way of thinking about the genome,” said [the Broad Institute’s Daniel MacArthur]. “I think long-term this is likely to be the direction that the field is heading. But right now, I’m in no hurry.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: As DNA reveals its secrets, scientists are assembling a new picture of humanity

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