Bioinformatics Research

DNA sequence alignments: A new paradigm in the history of large-scale genomic studies

  • December 05th, 19
  • 1 min reading time
DNA sequence alignments

A routine and essential procedure in all genomic research usually begins by arranging the DNA or protein sequences in such a way that it is feasible to compare the different genetic variants in an adequate and reliable way. This procedure is called performing sequence alignments. These alignments are of crucial importance in all genomic projects since the reliability of the results obtained are a function of the quality of the initial alignments.

The group of Cedric Notredame, principal researcher of the Center of Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Coordinator of the degree of Bioinformatics at ESCI-UPF, in collaboration with researchers of ESCI-UPF, of the UPF and of the Institute of Science and Technology from Austria have just published a revolutionary article in the highly ranked journal Nature Biotechnology.

The new method consists in making the alignments in a radically different way to how they have been done so far, starting with the most different sequences and incorporating the rest according to their dissimilarity to the initial sequences. The new method greatly improves the alignment of large sizes, allowing better results for samples of more than 100,000 sequences with great precision.

It should be stressed that the limitation of large-scale genomic projects has been the difficulty of obtaining reliable alignments for sequences of this size or larger. The work of the Cedric Notredame group and collaborators offers a solution to this problem and opens the door to a new paradigm in the history of large-scale genomic studies, making it feasible and credible to work with this big amount of information.

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