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An Improved Method for Comparing Whole Genome Sequences

This is Science Today. An improved method for comparing entire genome sequences has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Chemistry professor Sung-Hou Kim came up with the idea after learning about text comparison methods that are currently used to detect plagiarism in books, college papers and computer programs.

Kim:    When I heard about that, I said, maybe we can treat genome as a different organism, as a different form of the same book, but they are arranged in different ways. So, that's how we say, ‘OK, we need to modify this method so that it can be applied to the genome sequence, which is basically one long string of alphabet.

Narrator:        Kim's team were stunned by how accurately this computational method classified genomes.

Kim:    Initially, we thought we made a mistake somewhere and finally, we realized that the advantage of our method is we are taking consideration of the local syntax of word order, which the conventional method doesn't.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.