Research

DNA Trees

Currently, you can compare two different sets of genomes, and based on the number of common genes in the genome, you can determine how long they shared a common ancestor.

At the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, they have a program called “BLAST”.  This program will scan the Genome of several organisms and produce an evolution tree.  The program can be submitted by any developer who can create a new program more accurate than what is currently being used.  


So far they have developed a program using the program Matlab.  Matlab is high-level computer program that allows you to quickly perform math operations much quicker than a traditional graphing calculator, and even programming languages.  

A program was written:


This specific program will compare the evolution tree of the German Neanderthal, Russian Neanderthal, European Human, Mountain Gorilla of Rwanda, and the Chimp Troglodytes.  Our program produced the following tree:
 

The tree shows the evolutionary distance (normalized) between the 5 different animals.  

The table shows that the German & Russian Neanderthal are the closest related.  The next closest related are the European Human and the Neanderthals, which is followed by the Gorilla. 


Currently Dr. Rosen and Steve Essinger are working on developing new algorithms to efficiently compare the genes of the different organisms.


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