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UT Austin Researchers Use Supercomputing to Study Turning Animals Monogamous

By HPCwire

January 17, 2019

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University of Texas at Austin researchers used the Texas Advanced Computing Center's Wrangler supercomputer to examine gene activity across the genomes of 10 species of vertebrates, using RNA-sequencing technology and tissue samples from three individuals of each species.

Using a software package called OrthoMCL, the researchers were able to arrange genes from distantly related species, such as a fish and a mammal, into groups based on sequence similarities. This allowed them to identify the common evolutionary formula that led to pair bonds and co-parenting in the five species that behave monogamously.

With traditional online databases, the researchers were only able to identify about 350 comparable genes across the 10 species. However, when they ran OrthoMCL on Wrangler, they identified nearly 2,000 genes that are comparable across all of the species.

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