University of Missouri researchers recently solved a biological mystery by using a computer algorithm to find identical DNA sequences in different plant and animal species.
"Our algorithm found identical sequences of DNA located at completely different places on multiple plant genomes," says Missouri professor Dmitry Korkin.
Six animal genomes were compared to each other and six plant genomes were compared to each other. Comparing all of the genetic sequences took four weeks with 48 computer processors doing 1 million searches per hour for a total of approximately 32 billion searches.
The Missouri research sets the stage for future studies into the reasons plants and animals developed different genetic mechanisms and how they function. In addition, the code-analyzing program could help in the development of new medicines.
"The same algorithm can be used to find identical sequential patterns in an organism's entire set of proteins," Korkin says. "That could potentially lead to finding new targets for existing drugs or studying these drugs' side effects."
The researchers note that prior to this effort, software lacked the power to find identical sequences in plant DNAs because the identical sections were not discovered at the same points.
From MU News Bureau (MO)
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