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Google Has Released an AI Tool That Makes Sense of Your Genome

Image result for genomeAlmost 15 years after scientists first sequenced the human genome, making sense of the enormous amount of data that encodes human life remains a formidable challenge. But it is also precisely the sort of problem that machine learning excels at. On Monday, Google released a tool called DeepVariant that uses the latest AI techniques to build a more accurate picture of a person’s genome from sequencing data. DeepVariant helps turn high-throughput sequencing readouts into a picture of a full genome. It automatically identifies small insertion and deletion mutations and single-base-pair mutations in sequencing data.

A number of tools exist for interpreting these readouts, including GATK, VarDict, and FreeBayes. However, these software programs typically use simpler statistical and machine-learning approaches to identifying mutations by attempting to rule out read errors. “One of the challenges is in difficult parts of the genome, where each of the [tools] has strengths and weaknesses,” says Brad Chapman, a research scientist at Harvard’s School of Public Health who helped develop DeepVariant. “These difficult regions are increasingly important for clinical sequencing, and it’s important to have multiple methods.”

Read the full article here.

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