Ian Holmes’ work on applying theories about grammar and syntax to the genetic data emerging from DNA sequencing efforts is featured in the September 2006 issue of Lab Notes.
Holmes, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, is using this mountain of data to model evolution in a quantitative way. To do this, the researchers study how the genomes of related species of animals differ. By comparing genes, it’s possible to identify the elements of a genome that evolution has conserved, sometimes for billions of years. Holmes and his colleagues are developing new tools to accomplish this mighty task, drawn from such seemingly disparate fields as statistical physics, machine learning, probability theory, and linguistics.
Read the full story in Lab Notes.