Graphing the Human Genome

Source: Technology Review, Jun 2015

a new universal map they say will combine the genomes of hundreds, and eventually thousands, of people to create a true reference that reflects all of humanity.

The problem with the existing gene map is that it represents only one way a person’s genome could look. The new map, called a “graph genome,” or pan-genome, would use mathematics to reflect every possible twist or turn a person’s genome could take as it spirals around 46 chromosomes.

In a graph genome, the objective will be to find a path through the genetic letters that exactly matches yours. If every possible path is represented—which is the whole idea—it will make the interpretations of genomes faster, less expensive, and more accurate.

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