How can you better understand genetics in this cold weather?

By Christine Situ

Put your codon!

This semester, our class moved away from the wet lab component of Phage Hunting to focus on the genetics component. Now that Phatniss’s sequencing is completed, we have just begun annotation of genes, and if I may say, WOW there’s much work to do. For those who are Mac users, prepare to run into many program-related troubles! Although DNA Master, the program we use to annotate, has posed many technical problems, I like how it enables me to see how complex and massive the genome of Phatniss is.

What I find so intriguing about the whole process of annotation is that the annotation of Phatniss is based off previous students’ annotations of other phages. The determination of where the start codons are located is quite subjective. Luckily, we use both the GeneMark prediction and Glimmer prediction in order to justify our choices. Even though I finished the annotation of the first five genes with only some trouble, I can see that the most troublesome is still to come. Some genes overlap, some start codons are subjective, and some arguing is to ensue.

5 genes down, 98 more to go! I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. Hopefully, the sequencing of Tacocat, my prize phage, will be completed soon. Will it be a singleton? Will it be massive? Most of all, will it be as unique as its cool name?

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