Biochemistry researchers, B. Franklin Pugh, Evan Pugh University Professor and Willaman Chair in molecular biology, and Shaun Mahony, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, are currently invested in researching the human cell genomes and the regulation of genes.
“We’re in the era of personalized genomic medicine,” said Pugh. “Cancer is really thousands of different diseases, because there are many different kinds of organs or cell types that start to proliferate uncontrollably. We’re trying to learn more about the defining components of these diseases to hopefully improve treatment.”
Penn State researchers are using a sophisticated gene sequencer and the Penn State Research Network — a high-speed, secure network funded in 2012 by the National Science Foundation that allows for better data transfers. Tasks that once took a week to complete, such as the sequencing of a DNA sample, can now occur overnight; allowing Pugh’s team maximum data efficiency and the best possible time-management scenario. Prior to joining the network, the team says it took 36 hours or longer before the sequencing data could be transferred and viewed by researchers’ now, more complete and comprehensive results are available within just 18 to 24 hours.
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