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From Sequence Comparison to Biological Insights

<p>Welcome to class!</p><p>If you joined us in the previous course in this Specialization, then you became an expert at <em>assembling</em> genomes and sequencing antibiotics. The next natural question to ask is how to compare DNA and amino acid sequences. This question will motivate this week's discussion of <strong>sequence alignment</strong>, which is the first of two questions that we will ask in this class (the algorithmic methods used to answer them are shown in parentheses):</p><ol><li>How Do We Compare DNA Sequences? (<em>Dynamic Programming</em>)</li><li>Are There Fragile Regions in the Human Genome? (<em>Combinatorial Algorithms</em>)</li></ol><p>As in previous courses, each of these two chapters is accompanied by a Bioinformatics Cartoon created by talented artist Randall Christopher and serving as a chapter header in the Specialization's bestselling <a href="http://bioinformaticsalgorithms.com" target="_blank">print companion</a>. You can find the first chapter's cartoon at the bottom of this message. Why have taxis suddenly become free of charge in Manhattan? Where did Pavel get so much spare change? And how should you get dressed in the morning so that you aren't late to your job as a crime-stopping superhero? Answers to these questions, and many more, in this week's installment of the course.</p><p><img src="http://bioinformaticsalgorithms.com/images/cover/alignment_cropped.jpg" width="528"></p>

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