By the numbers
HEFalMp — a functional map of the human genome
By combining computing and biology, Princeton researchers have created a website to help scientists sort through the mountains of genetic data emerging from modern DNA sequencing methods.
The site will speed the discovery of genes involved in diseases and help researchers find new therapies for illnesses, according to project leader Olga Troyanskaya, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.
• The website allows researchers to explore the relationships among 20,000 to 25,000 human genes that could potentially interact with each other in 300 million different ways.
• The Princeton team compiled genetic information from more than 15,000 genomic studies, mashing up data from 350 separate databases.
• The site allows users to explore the genetic underpinnings of 147 diseases and 229 biological processes, such as growth and development, circadian rhythms, immunity and aging.
• The project team included Hilary Coller, an assistant professor of molecular biology; Curtis Huttenhower, a postdoctoral researcher in Troyanksaya’s lab; Erin Haley, a doctoral student in molecular biology; Vanessa Dumeaux, a visiting scientist from Norway; Matthew Hibbs, a former postdoctoral researcher; and Daniel Barrett, a senior majoring in computer science.
• The site took about two years to develop, but built upon six years of laboratory research and experience creating similar systems for organisms such as yeast and mice.
The website is open to the public at: function.princeton.edu/hefalmp.