September 24, 2010
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Harris Center 101
We live in the era of genome-scale data, and we would like to know whether the complete genome sequences, in addition to their potential for better dissecting and curing human disease, have changed our understanding of Life on Earth. I will present several observations of comparative genomics that may be of such general interest, namely: 1. gene sequences appear to be remarkably resilient to mutation at the historic scale, and more than two-thirds of the protein-coding genes in every genome have related genes in phylogenetically distant organisms; 2. nearly each biochemical pathway or molecular module has been generated more than once in evolution, resulting in frequent non-homologous but isofunctional molecular solutions to the same problem; 3. the evolutionary history of Life is not a tree in a formal sense, as it contains a non-trivial amount of cycles, but, at the same time, it may be amenable to reconstruction nearly as much as the more familiar strictly-bifurcating tree. I will then describe the general framework of analysis and comparison of numeric data associated with genes encoded by complete genomes, will introduce gene vectors and some operations on them, and will show the connection between gene vectors and network science.
Arcady Mushegian was born in Moscow, USSR and earned a doctorate in molecular biology at Moscow State University. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Kentucky, University of Washington, and at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
In 1996-2001 he worked as a bioinformatics scientist and program leader at several biotechnology companies. In 2001, he became the founding Director of Bioinformatics and IT at Stowers Institute for Medical Research, where he is now Director of Bioinformatics Research. Dr. Mushegian Is also Professor of Microbiology and member of Cancer Center at Kansas University Medical Center.
Name: Michael Powell