HOW TO READ A GENOME?
The Human Genome Project has given us a complete blueprint of 3 billion letters in our DNA. This
information is written with only four letters representing four individual molecules – nitrogenous bases:
adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). The genome contains the instructions for
building, growing and maintaining our organism.
Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have enabled researchers to generate vast amounts of
biological data that need to be stored and analysed. The field of bioinformatics emerged as a response
to this challenge. The fact that just one sequence of the human genome produces approximately 200
gigabytes of raw data indicates the enormous volume of this type of data. By 2025, 100 million genomes
are expected to be sequenced, which would lead to the accumulation of over 20 billion gigabytes of raw
However, simply storing the data is not enough. To gain meaningful scientific insight, it is necessary to
analyse each genome. The analysis of genomic data typically generates additional 100 gigabytes of data
per genome and requires enormous computing power. This represents a major challenge for
researchers in this field.
At this exhibit, you will have the opportunity to find out why and how genomic data varies, how we read
and store it, how big the data from our genes is, and whether we will ever be able to use DNA to store
other types of data. You will have the opportunity to compare short DNA sequences of different species,
discover how information is transcribed from genes to proteins, as well as what are some of the basic
ethical issues that arise with the rapid development of genomics.