Using Computer Logic to Diagnose Disease

For the past 25 years, computational biologist Mark Yandell, Ph.D., has been intrigued by DNA, and the code embedded within it.

“What fascinates me is the idea that we can compute on a DNA sequence. In a certain sense, you can think of us as being made of words: three billion base pairs of A's, T's, G's, and C's. You start grouping those four letters to form longer sequences, and all of s sudden it really has something to say about who we are, why we're healthy, and why we're not,” he said.

As co-director of the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery and Utah Genome Project investigator, he builds computer algorithms that translate our DNA code into health information. His latest success, called Phevor, can find the genetic causes of previously undiagnosed diseases.

In an interview with The Scope Radio, Yandell describes Phevor, what it can do, and the inspiration for his work.

Listen to the interview.

Understanding What Our Genetic Code Has to Say