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Half-million-dollar DNA sequencer to boost genetic science research at UH
Date:10/17/2007

of millions of pages of data, Pettitt said. Breaking up the astonishingly complex genome into smaller chunks for study and then piecing it back together is an arduous task, but this high-powered sequencer can perform large, rapid scans of genetic material. Scientists can have the initial data in couple of days with this technology as opposed to years.

The sequencer will be only the second installation of its kind in Houston. There are plans for the UH sequencer to be used for stem cell research, Pettitt said.

Whether its zeroing in on the slightest hint of virus or bacteria from a mouth swab or constructing an ecological profile of an area by studying remnant DNA molecules that could be millions of years old to see what was there so long ago, the sequencers will help researchers in a number of groundbreaking endeavors.

It also will help scientists and students engaged in synthetic biology the creation of new functions and even life forms with synthesized genes.

Although life forms from scratch are still a ways off, the sequencer opens up new possibilities in genetic analysis that can lead to a profound change in how we do biological science, Pettitt said.

The remaining $250,000 from the Cullen Foundation gift will be used to finish outfitting research labs in SERCC. Similarly, the funds from the M.D. Anderson Foundation grant will be used to build out space on this research facilitys fourth floor. The grant will directly impact the completion of lab space to be used by the IMD, which is currently planned to be housed on the fourth floor of SERCC, allowing for more rapid and efficient collaboration to help advance the IMDs research most effectively.


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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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