David Haussler on Genome Browser
  David Haussler     Biography    
Recorded: 08 May 2012

After we released the first draft of the Human Genome on the World Wide Web, Jim [Kent] built a remarkable tool to actually explore it and to map all of the information that was known about he Human Genome onto the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that constitute that first draft and this became known as the Genome Browser and it’s very widely used now. We get about a million hits a day.

There are about a hundred-thirty-thousand unique Internet protocols, IP addresses that are hitting the browser every month and it’s part of a family of browsers; the ensemble browser’s highly complimentary and then there’s a browser built for the National Center of Biotechnology Information, as well. But people like our browser, geneticists like our browser, in it allows you to explore the genes and now the encode project, information about transcription factor binding sites and other very exciting epigenetic, as well as genetic phenomena and increasingly, information about diseases and other structures and features of the genome. So, it’s very, very important that we have an online tool and I think what distinguishes it from the traditional method of scientific communication is that it’s alive, it’s interactive, it’s not a static image, you can query it, you can reconfigure it, and look at the data in different ways and it’s updated all of the time, so when someone publishes a paper on genome analysis, that data rapidly becomes stale. But, the data on the genome browser is never stale – there are archived versions of how it used to look – but you’ll – every night we update it with new genes and new information that’s downloaded from the major databases.

David Haussler (born 1953) is an American bioinformatician known for his work leading the team that assembled the first human genome sequence in the race to complete the Human Genome Project and subsequently for comparative genome analysis that deepens understanding the molecular function and evolution of the genome. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, professor of biomolecular engineering and director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) on the UC Santa Cruz campus, and a consulting professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and UC San Francisco Biopharmaceutical Sciences Department.