Detailed Searchable Index of Proteins in Genome of Bottlenose Dolphin Developed

In movies and TV shows, dolphins are often portrayed as heroes who save humans through remarkable feats of strength and tenacity. Now, according to a February 23, 2017 press release from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), dolphins could save the day for humans in real life, too - with the help of emerging technology that can measure thousands of proteins and an improved database full of genetic data. "Dolphins and humans are very, very similar creatures," said the NIST's Dr. Ben Neely, a member of the Marine Biochemical Sciences Group and the lead on a new project at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, a research facility in Charleston, South Carolina that includes the NIST as one of its partner institutions. "As mammals, we share a number of proteins and our bodies function in many similar ways, even though we are terrestrial and dolphins live in the water all their lives." Dr. Neely and his colleagues have just finished creating a detailed, searchable index of all the proteins found in the bottlenose dolphin genome. Dr. Neely's project is built on years of marine mammal research and aims to provide a new level of bioanalytical measurements. The results of this work will aid wildlife biologists, veterinary professionals, and biomedical researchers. Although a detailed map of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) genome was first compiled in 2008, recent technological breakthroughs have enabled the creation of a new, more exhaustive map of all of the proteins produced by the dolphins' DNA. Dr. Neely led the process to generate the new genome with the help of colleagues at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. For this project, the initial genomic sequencing and assembly were completed by Dovetail Genomics, a private U.S.-based company.
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