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News & Commentary - Message forums

Craig Venter and Google to catalog all genes
Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Friday, December 02, 2005
Submitter Maura Welch at the Boston Globe writes, ``Google is teaming up with Craig Venter (of human genome mapping fame) to use Google‚??s vast computing power to help unlock biology‚??s mysteries, and maybe one day to help you search through your genes.''

This is according to a new book, The Google Story, by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed. The Washington Post has an excerpt from the book on their website:

```We need to use the largest computers in the world,' Venter said. `Larry and Sergey have been excited about our work and about giving us access to their computers and their algorithm guys and scientists to improve the process of analyzing data. It shows the broadness of their thinking. Genetic information is going to be the leading edge of information that is going to change the world. Working with Google, we are trying to generate a gene catalogue to characterize all the genes on the planet and understand their evolutionary development. Geneticists have wanted to do this for generations.'

``Over time, Venter said, Google will build up a genetic database, analyze it, and find meaningful correlations for individuals and populations. It is utilizing the 30,000 genes discovered by Venter and scientists from the National Institutes of Health when they were racing to beat one another to map the human genome. On June 26, 2000, federal researchers and those from the private sector came together at the White House to announce that their race to map the human genome had ended in a tie. Shortly thereafter, Venter and scientists from NIH made the genetic information they had gathered publicly available on the Internet, a stark contrast to the days when scientists hoarded data. Google went on to post a double helix doodle on its Web site to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, the material inside cells that carries genetic information.

``Google's data-mining techniques appear well-suited to the formidable challenges posed by analyzing the genetic sequence. It has begun work on this project, but has not been required to disclose any information about it publicly since the work has no impact on its current revenue and profits.''

Full excerpt:
[link]

Boston Globe article:
[link]

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