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See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

In honor of National DNA Day, we take a look at the myriad ways that researchers in the College of Natural Sciences use deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and genomic information to fight disease, improve agriculture and illuminate the wonders of the natural world.

National DNA Day commemorates two major milestones in science: the day in 1953 when three papers describing the structure of DNA were first published and the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003. The discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA sparked a revolution in molecular biology. Fifty years later, the completion of the DNA sequence in humans provided a road map to help us navigate countless complexities in the code of life. Since then, researchers have unleashed an unprecedented amount of biological data, allowing for amazing advances in many areas.

Here are 22 examples of how scientists are using DNA and genomic information at UT Austin to address societal challenges and answer big questions about how the world works.

​Agriculture and Ecology


​Revealing Nature's Mysteries

​As genomic data becomes easier and cheaper to obtain, processing the ever-increasing onslaught of data points becomes more of a challenge, requiring new methods and training to make sense of it all.

Computer scientists are already developing newer and better methods for finding the most meaningful information in highly complex data. The Texas Advanced Computing Center designs and operates powerful supercomputers that can make use of these newer methods.

Meanwhile, the Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics has developed courses for training faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the best methods for analyzing large sets of genomic data. Undergraduates can also explore methods for making sense of large-scale datasets in the Freshman Research Initiative's new "Big Data in Biology" course.

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Monday, 30 January 2023

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