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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.

How did computers help complete the genome project?
     Larry Thompson, M.S., M.F.A.: Leads the Communications Branch at the Genome Institute. Computers were critical for mangaging the massive amounts of information information that were generated the DNA sequencing machines. Each "read" from a sequencing machine was like one small piece of a very big puzzle. The computers, using specially created software, figured out how to assemble the DNA puzzle pieces into a picture of the whole human genome. This fascinating field is called bioinformatics and it's a great career if you are interested in solving puzzles.
Kannapolis Middle School in NC (7th grade student)

< View ALL questions and answers from 2008

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