What will this project do?
The project will compare about 200 million proteins encoded by the genes from a wide variety of known and unknown organisms. These genes came from organisms in samples taken from a range of environments, including water and soil, as well as on and in plants and animals. DNA from all the organisms in those samples (the metagenome) was extracted and analyzed to identify genes that encode proteins, most of which are enzymes. Uncovering Genome Mysteries will compare the proteins encoded by those genes to one another, both individually and in groups, to find genetic similarities. Such similarities can reveal the functions these organisms perform in various natural processes. Scientists can then use that knowledge to design solutions to solve important environmental, medical and industrial problems.
Why are gene comparisons important?
What will the results of this project be?
What are the expected benefits of this project?
What is DNA?
What are genes?
Genes are “DNA phrases” that encode for proteins. Specific three-letter DNA sequences each encode one specific amino acid. Chains of amino acids form proteins, some of which contribute to the structure of a cell (such as a microorganism) while others act as enzymes. Learn more.
What are proteins?
What are enzymes?
What is DNA sequencing?
How do you understand an organism's function from a DNA sequence?
What is the difference between a genome and a metagenome?
What are microorganisms?
Why are microorganisms important?
Why is understanding microorganism function important?
What does the Uncovering Genome Mysteries project screensaver look like?
What does the Uncovering Genome Mysteries project screensaver show?
The graphics show a portion of a pair of protein sequences, which have been compared on your computer or device in the form of “letter codes”. The letters (A, R, N, D, C, E, Q, G, H, I, L, K, M, F, P, S, T, W, Y, V) represent the twenty types of amino acid molecules that are assembled in a chain to form the protein molecule. The matching letters in the two protein sequences are highlighted.
When sequences match, it means that the unknown organism produces a protein that is similar to a more well-known protein. This can indicate that the two proteins have similar functions, and give scientists a head start in understanding the unknown organism.
What does the progress bar below the text show?
Where may I download images of the Uncovering Genome Mysteries graphics?
A screenshot of the project graphics is available for download in the following resolutions: