Compiling the data from the Human Genome Project, Jim Kent
Interviewee: Jim Kent.
Jim Kent, the author of the assembly program for the public sequence, talks about the challenge of reassembling the genome.
(DNAi Location: Genome > The Project > Players >Technology > Reconstructing a shredded masterpiece)
If you could imagine taking perhaps, I don't know, ten copies of War and Peace, putting it through a shredder, and then just to make your life a little more interesting, put a copy of Anna Karenina, another big Russian novel, through the shredder as well. You mix them all up and then let them sit in the compost heap for about a month or so, so that now you've got all these little shreds of these books that are partly rotted away. And since you've got ten copies, you know, even though it's partly rotted, you should be able to string the whole thing together. But it would be a job, and in a sense that was our job. It was to take little overlapping strips of the genome and say, oh this little bit here is the same as this little bit here, so we can glue these two together to make a longer strip.
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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.