• Question: what is a genome research facility?

    Asked by nerdkill3r to Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Hey NerdKill3r

      A genome research facility is a place where they research the genome. The genome is the whole of an organism’s hereditary information encoded in DNA. The genome includes both the genes and the other DNA (we still don’t know what the other DNA does). Sometimes people use, the phrase “genetic makeup” to mean the genome of someone. Basically a genome research facility study’s all of this! Its really important work!

      Some facts about the genome::

      Both the amount of DNA and the number of genes vary widely from one species to another. Right now the highest known number of genes is around 60,000, for a single cells organism, almost three times as many as in the human genome.

      An analogy to the human genome stored on DNA is that of instructions stored in a book:

      The book (genome) would contain 23 chapters (chromosomes);
      each chapter contains 48 to 250 million letters (A,C,G,T) without spaces;
      Hence, the book contains over 3.2 billion letters total;
      The book fits into a cell nucleus the size of a pinpoint;
      At least one copy of the book (all 23 chapters) is contained in most cells of our body.

    • Photo: Ken Dutton-Regester

      Ken Dutton-Regester answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Another anology- if you read your DNA out one letter at a time (1 letter per second), it would take you 90 years to complete. i.e. You would probably read off the last letter of your DNA sequence– then roll over and die!!

      I worked at the Australian Genome Research Facilty. This is a genetic service provider company (non profit) for scientists. Basically, they invest in expensive new machinery and then offer their service to researchers who want to get work done for them. Some of these machines can cost up to and over $1 million (or up to 750,000 pounds). As such, not all researchers can afford or get access to these machines and new technology. The Australian Genome Research Facilty provides a service to allow these researchers access for just above cost price.