Lab decodes chromosomes

Lab decodes chromosomes

The 704-processor IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., processed the sequences of three human chromosomes as part of the international Human Genome Project, an Oak Ridge scientist said last week.

The Energy Department's Joint Genome Institute decoded chromosomes 5, 16 and 19'three of the 46 chromosomes within each human cell. The Oak Ridge supercomputer did the work over a 10-day period earlier this year, said Frank Larimer, a geneticist in the Computational Biosciences Section of the lab's Life Sciences Division.

The lab assembled overlapping sequences among short sections of genes into larger gene structures and compared them against known genes.

If the supercomputer had been dedicated exclusively to the sequencing, it could have finished the task in three days, Larimer said.

'Patricia Daukantas, Christopher J. Dorobek and William Jackson

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