A few years ago, the General Biology students at the Johns Hopkins University began to interrogate the unseen world. During this semester-long project, they study the ecosystems of the Homewood campus, and engage in novel research by exploring the microbial ecosystems in different sections of the campus. Biology lab students gather environmental samples from different campus ... Read more
How did the human genome ever get finished if every one of the three billion bases had to be reviewed by human eyes?
In the early days of the human genome project, laboratory personnel routinely scanned printed copies of chromatograms, editing and reviewing all DNA sequences by eye. For more background, see the post on qualitative measures of DNA quality.
Later on, when the genome sequencing turned into a race, and the pace of DNA sequencing began to increase, some genome ... Read more
What do genetic testing and genealogy have in common?
The easy answer is that they're both used by people who are trying to find out who they are, in more ways than one.
Another answer is that both tests can involve DNA sequence data.
And that leads us to another question. If the sequence of my mitochondrial DNA is only two bases different from Cleopatra's, am I really a distant relative? And how do I really even know that my mitochondrial DNA is only two bases different in the first place? What does having a DNA sequence really mean?
Students ... Read more