Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press


"Faster, better, cheaper genotyping", by Marina Chicurel, Nature, 9 August 2001.

The author considers the technological requirements to scan the genome for subtle genetic variations across thousands of individuals—-which may help researchers find genes that underpin susceptibility to common diseases. Researchers are developing techniques to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)-—simple, abundant and widely dispersed "points in the genome at which genetic code can vary by a single letter." The author goes on to describe the emerging research techniques, which include the use of lasers, chemical tags, and programs to "speed-read" the massive number of DNA fragments.

--- Annette Emerson