BBC Podcast: Sequencing an Organism in a Single Afternoon

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In this BBC podcast, Geoff Watts visits the Human Microbiome Project in the US, where they’re sequencing the genomes of bacteria that live on our bodies. The Project aims to catalogue 3,000 of these microbes sequence their genes. The theory is that we have co-evolved with our microbes in order to defend our bodies against pathogens. Geneticists are aiming to find out what constitutes a healthy microbial community, and what happens when the group is invaded by ‘bad’ bacteria.

About 10 minutes into the program, they discuss recent HPC advancements that enable the sequencing the genome of a single organism in an afternoon. As reported here, new sequencing instruments are producing huge volumes of data that can only be managed with the best practices of high performance computing and storage. Tune in to the podcast.