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Making Sense of Sequences

Los Alamos bioinformatics is making it easy to interpret nature’s hereditary code.
August 1, 2018
Two book pages printed with lines of Gs, As, Ts, and Cs.

After the Human Genome Project, the 3 billion chemical bases of the human genome (A, C, G, and T) were printed in 140 books like this one for a display at the Wellcome Collection in London. The public database GenBank, created at Los Alamos, includes genomes from all types of organisms—bacteria, viruses, plants, animals—and now contains over 3 trillion bases. CREDIT: Wellcome Collection, Kerr/Noble

Genomic data is being generated at a tremendous pace.

The availability of genomic data has revolutionized how living organisms are characterized, organized, and identified—no longer by their physical traits or lifestyles but instead by their internal blueprint of DNA or RNA. These data are useful for many different areas of science and medicine; however, due to the speed at which the data are being generated, combined with constant technological changes, analysis can be a significant challenge. To make things easier and more user-friendly, Los Alamos scientists have developed a comprehensive website and suite of unique software tools called EDGE that helps researchers sort through this virtual mountain of data to comprehensively answer any type of genomics question. EDGE, which stands for Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise, is already being used by scientists worldwide to develop knowledge of complex biological systems.