Module 2: Storage, Retrieval and Manipulation of DNA Information (General Themes)

 

Introduction

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In this module, we will discuss general themes in the management of DNA information. As of June, 2000, a "working draft" of the entire human genome has been assembled (See Press Release of the White House Announcement). The current rate of sequencing the human genome at the institutions of the HGP averages to be 1,000 bases of raw sequence per second, or 12,000 bases of "working draft" per minute.(See Press Release of the White House Announcement). This DNA sequence is acquired 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! In addition, DNA sequences of other organisms, from bacteria to mammals, are being added to the information pool everyday. Non-human sequences come from concerted efforts of research groups and from individual laboratories all over the world. There is no national or global source from which one can find out the total amount of DNA information being generated from all of the non-human organisms but it is very likely to be in the thousands of kilobases per week. There is a constant tug-of-war between the amount of information being generated and the currently available computing hardware and software required to manage this tremendous influx of data.


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SWBIC 2001