News

The UCSC Genome Browser is mentioned in Science Magazine's NetWatch feature. It indicates that scientists gearing up to make sense of the public draft of the human genome now have a new way to home in on specific sequences. Find it in Science 15 September 2000;289(5486).

Jim Kent, a biology graduate student working with computer science professor David Haussler at UCSC, has developed a new web-based tool for viewing the human genome sequence. This genome browser allows researchers to look at any segment of interest in the context of its exact location in the genome.

R. Michael Tanner, professor of computer science, has been appointed as Interim Director of the new UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Center.

The Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering received a $1 million award from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in support of the project: "Bioinformatic and microarray expression analysis of nervous system function."

Research will be conducted by professors Manny Ares, Andrew Chisholm, Tony Fink, David Haussler, Richard Hughey, Yishi Jin, Kevin Karplus, Hongyun Wang, and Alan Zahler. This award will provide funding for the microarray facility, supplies, and students over four years.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who performed the computer analysis to assemble a working draft of the human genome sequence have now posted their results on a UCSC web site (http://genome.ucsc.edu). Biomedical researchers throughout the world can now search the working draft for particular genes or DNA sequences of interest to them.

The SAM server, a bioinformatics tool for sequence alignment and modeling, was ranked by Links2go as number four out of the top 50 sites for bioinformatics resources. The SAM server was developed and is hosted by UCSC.

On June 26, 2000, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium announced that it has assembled the first working draft of the human genome--the genetic blueprint for a human being. Members of the consortium from UCSC, led by David Haussler, director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, created a powerful new computer program to assemble the working draft of the human genome.

David Haussler, professor of biomolecular engineering, and Yishi Jin , professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, have been named investigators with the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Foundation.

Professor David Haussler has been appointed to the UC Presidential Chair of Computer Science at the Santa Cruz campus. The appointment lasts from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001, and may be renewed for up to two additional years. Annual support for this position is approximately $45,000.

Two UCSC faculty members--professor of computer science David Haussler and professor of philosophy David Hoy--have been appointed to UC Presidential Chairs on the Santa Cruz campus.

Chancellor Greenwood made the appointments, which will extend from July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001, and may be renewed for up to two additional years. Annual support for each chair is approximately $45,000.

The emerging field of bioinformatics research and its application to the Human Genome Project is the subject of an articlein Science Daily: "Genome scientists muster computer software tools for handling the flood of raw data from the Human Genome Project and related efforts."

A new discipline has emerged at the intersection of computer science and biotechnology, bringing the power of advanced computational techniques to bear on complex problems in molecular biology. Called bioinformatics or computational biology, this new field is providing essential tools for scientists on the leading edge of research in genetics and other fundamental areas of biology.

The University of California, Santa Cruz recently received a $150,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a professional masters degree program in bioinformatics put forth by the CBSE. The program is a collaborative effort between the School of Engineering and the Division of Natural Sciences.

Professor Harry Noller, Director of the UCSC Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA, and his team have solved the structure of the ribosome, the largest and most important macromolecular complex ever solved. The results were presented in a recent issue of Science.

The Genie gene finder, a collaborative project involving the UCSC computational biology group, the human genome informatics group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, performed very well on a recent blind test of computational gene finding methods performed at Berkeley by the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, directed by Gerald Rubin. The test was called the Genome Annotation Assessment Project.

Professor Kevin Karplus has for the second time led a successful UCSC team in the international Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP). Participants submit structure models for different target proteins that have no published structure, and these predictions are compared with experimental models from x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. The results are discussed in a recent paper in Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics.