Bioinformatics…Round 2

You’d think that after months of searching for the best possible starts and stops of genes, blasting base pair sequences, and hhpred-ing protein sequences, two things would occur: 1) We’d know everything there is to know about Manatee’s genome and 2) I’d be tired of working with computer programs to analyze genomes.

But on both accounts you’d be wrong. When I was assigned the daunting task of creating my own project, my mind was filled with such grand ideas as genetically engineering a new type of phage. However, I soon realized that I wouldn’t have time to perform such feats in only 10 class periods.

While further looking for possible project ideas however, I realized that there’s still a lot more we can find out about Manatee’s genome with projects using the computer. I chose to find and analyze the terminators and repeats in Manatee’s genome using a website called softberry.com and the tried and true method of blasting genes. A terminator is a section of genetic sequence that stops transcription of a gene, and repeats occur when sequences of base pairs are repeated throughout the genome. Both help us understand even more about the nature of Manatee as a phage, and knowing where they are can even help some of the other phage hunters out with their projects of isolating specific genes. So, it looks like I’ll be blasting and analyzing sequences for a little while longer!

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