Spying on the program of life

It is now possible to measure what every single gene is doing simultaneously in a cell under a variety of conditions. This enables scientists to say “Eureka! I’ve discovered a million numbers!” Unfortunately, their colleagues reply “And?” Andrew Conway is helping biochemists find meaning in their data.

Dr. Andrew Conway will be talking at ScienceNOW! in Melbourne on the morning of May 6, 1999 on his work on Gene Expression Analysis software.

Andrew has founded a company, Silicon Genetics, to develop software and techniques for biochemists. This software is used to analyse the results of genomic expression experiments. These experiments are used to determine the functions of unknown genes. The software, GeneSpring, helps scientists find patterns in the millions of numbers measured.

“In the past, biochemists have typically done experiments providing one, ten, maybe a hundred measurements of what genes are doing,” said company president Andrew Conway. “With new techniques, scientists are doing millions or billions of experiments. They can no longer just plot them on a graph. We have made software that can make sense of this amazing amount of data.”

Determining gene function allows improved crops, industrial chemicals, drugs, and medical procedures.

Photos and background information will be available on the website from the

day of presentation on www.asnevents.net.au/sciencenow

Details on GeneSpring can be obtained from www.sigenetics.com.

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