An online encyclopedia offers access to a wealth of information related to the human genome. The initiative, which is a part of the ENCODE Project, has reached the third stage, with millions of potential switches from the human and mouse genome that have been added.
These switches seem to play an important role in the activation and deactivation of genes. A new registry will also assign a part of the genes to specific biologic categories, and visualization tools are also available to browse through the large data sets more easily.
A vast amount of data
One of the major steps for the third stage of the ENCODE Project was the development of a new method that could be used to share data collected by ENCODE experiments with the research community in an attempt to expand the understanding of the genome.
ENCODE researchers focused on the biochemical processes tied to gene activation to learn more about the potential functions and features of key DNA regions. By using this approach, scientists can explore the whole genome in an accurate yet time-efficient manner.
A key trait of ENCODE is represented by a major challenge as specific genes, and functional regions can be identified in different cell types. This means that a vast amount of samples has to be tested to identify new candidates and create a robust catalog with all the potential functional elements that can be found in the genome
It is also worth noting that the human body contains a massive amount of cells, out of which some use specific instructions as the information is coded into DNA in a different manner. DNA regions perform a variety of roles as they regulate gene activation, set specific activity levels, encourage the formation of specific cell types, and more. The project is run by the National Human Genome Research Institute.