Genomic headphones and the $25,000 prize

Have you ever thought about what genomic DNA and MP3 headphones have in common? Dr. Erez Leiberman Aiden has and it has netted him a prestigious $25,000 prize and a 5 year, $2.5M new investigator award. What does one thing have to do with the other? Read on to find out!

While researching our earlier post on 3-D genome mapping, I came across an interesting interview of Dr. Erez Lieberman Aiden, a PhD from Harvard and MIT and currently a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and Visiting Faculty at Google.

Dr. Aiden recently won the $25,000 GE-Science Prize for his work on three dimensional genome sequencing and has been named by Technology Review as one of the top 35 under 35.

In this interview, Dr. Aiden talks about his research into the 3 dimensional structure of genomic DNA. In 2009, Aiden and collegues published a technique called Hi-C which utilizes sequencing data to produce 3 dimensional images of genomic DNA and can be used to visualize how genomic DNA is folded in the nucleus of a cell. Considering the critical role that genomic DNA’s tertiary structure plays in genomic function, Hi-C structural maps are likely to become an important part of the functional genomic scientist’s repetoire.

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