Translating the genome and Russian prose, Ewan Birney
Interviewee: Ewan Birney.
Ewan Birney, a key figure in the public sequence analysis, talks about trying to find meaning in the sequence.
(DNAi Location: Genome > The project > Players>Technology > Understanding the masterpiece)
The analogy I use is that the genome is a bit like a big, thick, meaty Russian book. It looks really important, it's written by a great author like Leo Tolstoy, it's <i>War And Peace</i>, you open it up and it's in Russian. And really you need to get the English translation of that book to really understand what's in it. And that's what the process of finding genes is all about, it's effectively making that English translation, that understandable, useful way of viewing this very thick, huge tome that we get out.
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For the first draft of the genome sequence, both teams were working to identify the number of human genes. Here, Ewan Birney, a "numbers man" from the public genome project, explains how genes can be recognized and the data from the genome project used.