Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New guideline for DNA sequences could prevent erroneous data

05.11.2012
DNA sequence data is an indispensable source of research information in biology. But not all data are reliable.
Almost 10% of all fungal DNA sequences are, for example, incorrectly identified to species level. A international team of researchers, with it’s core at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has therefore prepared a guide to assist the scientific community in the quality control process.

A new scientific study sees the researchers putting together a number of guidelines to help other researchers to ensure a high level of quality among their newly generated DNA sequences.

Detailed studies
DNA sequences make it possible to study biological samples and environments at a level of detail that traditional tools, such as microscopes, cannot provide. It is, for example, possible to investigate what species are present in seemingly barren substrates such as soil and seawater. Such studies often reveal an astonishing and hitherto unimagined diversity, and biology has made major advances as the use of DNA-based methods has become more widespread.

Quality varies
But as with many other sources of information, DNA sequences vary in quality and reliability. Several studies have found considerable quality problems in existing DNA sequence databases.

To verify ones DNA Sequence dataset for basic quality and authenticity has thus become an important part of biological research.

“Many researchers perceive quality control as difficult,” says Henrik Nilsson at the University of Gothenburg. “There are, quite simply, no guidelines that you can hand out to new or established researchers so that everyone is using the same approach. Which is why there are major differences in how, and to what extent, quality control is carried out in the research community.”

Nilsson is the lead author of a new scientific article on DNA sequence quality which has been published in the open-access journal MycoKeys.

Cumbersome software
One complication is that the software that is available to carry out parts of the quality control is cumbersome and often requires considerable computer capacity. The research group feels that it is not appropriate to require all biologists to have access to and be able to use such complex computer systems.

This is why they have written an article describing how quality control can be carried out manually without any tools beyond an Internet browser.

A guide that will help many
The article features a number of principles and observations on DNA sequences at different quality stages. Although the guidelines focus on fungi, where DNA sequences have had a particularly significant impact as a research instrument, they are general and can be used for most genes and groups of organisms.

The guidelines relate to traditional DNA sequencing as it is used in systematics, taxonomy and ecology.

The researchers hope that it will help readers to improve their DNA sequences and so halt the trend of increasing noise in the public DNA sequence databases.

Contact:
Henrik Nilsson, researcher, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Tel: +46 (0)31 786 2623, e-mail: henrik.nilsson@bioenv.gu.se

Carina Eliasson | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/mycokeys.4.3606

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nerve cells with a sense of rhythm
25.08.2016 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Genetic Regulation of the Thymus Function Identified
23.08.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Spherical tokamak as model for next steps in fusion energy

25.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists identify spark plug that ignites nerve cell demise in ALS

25.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

Secure networks for the Internet of the future

25.08.2016 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>