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Software Models Aid Genetic Study

By BBC News

December 7, 2009

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New modeling software called Qlucore is being used by researchers at King's College to study how genes react to toxins. The gene-modeling software can sort through thousands of entries in a spreadsheet very quickly and produce results in hours rather than days or weeks, as was the standard with earlier techniques. One gene test can generate 100,000 or more data points, but Qlucore has significantly reduced the time it takes to analyze that data.

"We moved within one year from getting one gene a week to getting information on thousands of genes in a matter of hours. That put a lot of challenges to us," says King's College's Thoas Fioretos, Qlucore's developer. "If you do not have this type of software, it's like sitting in front of an Excel spreadsheet with 6,000 pages. You cannot find patterns in that, you cannot ask if this gene is expressed with another."

Despite the success of the modeling technique, researchers say their understanding of how genes work together, or even individually, is not yet complete, says King's College's Stephen Sturzenbaum.

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