• March 2010
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Computational Feat Speeds Finding of Genes to Milliseconds Instead of Years.

Stanford University (03/15/10) Vaughn, Christopher

Stanford University computer scientist Debashis Sahoo and computer science professor David Dill recently completed a study of a program based on Boolean logic that can locate specific genes. Starting with two known B-cell genes, Sahoo searched through databases with thousands of gene products in milliseconds and found 62 genes that matched the patterns he would expect to see for genes that got turned on in between the activation of the two genes he started with. He then examined databases involving 41 strains of laboratory mice that were known to be deficient in one or more of the 62 genes. Of those 41 strains, 26 had defects in B-cell development. “Biologists are really amazed that, with just a computer algorithm, in milliseconds I can find genes that it takes them a really long time to isolate in the lab,” Sahoo says. He is currently using the technique to try to find new genes that contribute to cancer development. “This shows that computational analysis of existing data can provide clues about where researchers should look next,” Sahoo says.

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