Tag Archives: James Watson

Personal Genomics and Galileo?

456px-bolton-galileo.jpgYup, that’s the proposal.  Some scientists would like to find out what led to the vision problems that Galileo had, and are proposing an exhumation and some sequencing….

Scientists to solve astronomical riddle using Galileo DNA

“If we succeed, thanks to DNA, in understanding how this disease distorted his sight, it could bring about important discoveries for the history of science,” said the institute’s director, Paolo Galluzzi.

Huh.  I think it would be an interesting project just because I like to look around at other people’s genomes–you know, like looking in the windows of houses as you drive by….  And I would love to be able to use it as an example if they used GBrowse to display the data, like they do for Watson or Venter.  But I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be important for astronomy :)

You wonder if he covered this in those notebooks.

Image from Wikipedia

How to pick a genome database platform

I was reading a newsletter I get from Biotechniques, and their WebWatch often has some fun items. (You may need to get a free login to see the WebWatch.) This week they referred to the MaizeGDB database in the post Amaizing Base. Although I had been aware of MaizeGDB before, it was a nice reminder to go over and have a look to see what’s new.

When I went over there I was intrigued by the new browser they are about to launch (in mid-October). The link says “coming soon” and I went to check out the information there.

Currently that link goes to a page that describes their move to a more sequence-centric representation of their data. It was a fascinating look at their decision process to move to a new browser platform and what they decided to do. For database geeks like me, seeing their ranking of the importance of various features was very compelling.

And what they decided? GBrowse!

We have a tutorial available on GBrowse. Usually we do tutorials on specific sites, but as we kept seeing GBrowse over and over at different sites we created a tutorial for that. It helps me to understand the underlying basic browser when I visit any site that employs it. Even though the wrappings and the data types will vary at different sites, understanding how it works makes it much easier to use at any new site that uses it. HapMap, MGI, WormBase, FlyBase, TAIR, Watson’s personal genome, and a whole bunch of other sites use the GBrowse software.

Looking forward to checking out the MaizeGDB GBrowse version when it launches!