The following blog is part of a series written by the students and staff of the Youth Engagement through Science-Genome program (YES!G), sponsored by the Global Genome Initiative. The high school internship program offers teens hands-on experience in genomics research.
My name is Larry Dickens Jr. and I am a rising senior at the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George's Community College High School. This summer I was given the opportunity to be a part of the YES! Genome program.
This program introduced me to the world of genomic discovery by allowing me to sequence my first genome and to DNA barcode animals collected from Myanmar. One of the most interesting things I learned this summer was how scientists understand the genomic information they retrieve from organisms.
Since a genome is millions of nucleic acids in a line, represented in sequences of ‘A T C G’, and because all these sequences are in different orders, it means that when you try to read a genome what you see is just long jumble of letters. GGI’s research bioinformatician taught us how we can use computers to understand these sequences through programs that allow us to read the DNA. It’s like the computer program can take that jumble of letters and turn them into words!
This summer was an amazing experience and allowed me to learn not just about the importance of genomics, but also the technology we use to understand it.
-Written by Larry Dickens Jr