1. Why is it important that a database of all genetic sequences be created?
A database of all genetic sequences allows scientists to look at the degree of similarity among disparate genetic information from huge numbers of different organisms. This information is important in many types of research, including examining the genetic basis of disease and disease resistance. This database also allows researchers to look at the “relatedness” of different populations of the same organism and allows scientists to post discoveries in a place where they can be easily accessed by any researcher in the world. This allows scientific
advancement to happen very quickly.
2. What kinds of information can researchers get from being able to search and align sequences?
They can see how closely related one gene in an organism is to another. This allows scientists to look at how certain genes may have evolved over time. It also allows scientists to compare genetic sequences of one organism with another in a user-friendly program.
3. What does “est_others” mean? How about “est_mouse”? What can we learn from incomplete sequences?
The term “est_others” means expressed tag sequences (small, incomplete sequences) of newly discovered genes in organisms other than humans or mice. The term “est_mouse” means the partially expressed tag sequences of all of the mouse genes that have been discovered so far. Newly discovered sequences can be compared to all mouse sequences to look for differences. A partial sequence may be completed by another researcher’s lab in another part of the world.
4. How has the ability to sequence genes and blend computer technology with life sciences affected scientists’ ability to conduct research?
Unprecedented speed and enhanced collaboration are facilitated by computers. We cannot even begin to grasp the impact computers have had on scientific research. Research has been able to move at lightning speed, and projects such as the Human Genome Project are living proof. Without computer capabilities, the Human Genome Project would have taken many, many years. Only through the development of computer programs that can rapidly analyze and organize sequence data was the blueprint of human life able to be determined.
BLAST Search Questions:
5. How many bases are stored in GenBank?
89 billion in GenBank, 108 billion in the WGS division as of August 2009
6. What are the first five articles listed that deal with white spot syndrome virus? Give only the title of the article.
Paper titles will look similar to these:
1. GQ328029 Shrimp white spot syndrome virus isolate 03 VP28 gene, complete cds
2. GQ328028 Shrimp white spot syndrome virus isolate 03 VP19 gene, complete cds
3. Shrimp white spot syndrome virus isolate SDDL18/04 envelope protein VP19 (VP19) gene, complete cds
4. Shrimp white spot syndrome virus isolate SDDL18/04 envelope protein VP28 (VP28) gene, complete cds
5. Shrimp white spot syndrome virus unkonwn mRNA
7. List one author of the first paper
8. In what country was the study conducted?
After running the sequence through the BLAST search, look for the following features and answer the questions.
Answers will vary, depending on results of each search.
9. What is the Query ID number?
Locate the sequence alignment comparison (in top box of the graph).
10. Locate the graph of the comparison (pass cursor over the box to the left) to be sure all information appears. What is the Line One information?
Click on the line to show nucleotide alignments (this feature shows the genes that the query
sequence is similar to and how they are aligned). Find the red letter beneath the gene sequence line that shows differences in the sequence.
11. How many gaps and misalignments are there in the sequence?
12. What is the genus or species of the organism?
13. What is the sequence access number (the “gi” number) that allows location of the sequence at a later date?
14. What is the genetic source of the information? 1 DNA or 1 RNA (Check one)