U.S.-Russian Collaboration Develops New Method for Sequencing Dark Matter of Life from a Single Cell

August 9, 2012


An international team of researchers led by computer scientist Pavel Pevzner, from the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new algorithm to sequence organisms’ genomes from a single cell faster and more accurately. The new algorithm, called SPAdes, can be used to sequence bacteria that can’t be submitted to standard cloning techniques—what researchers refer to as the dark matter of life, from pathogens found in hospitals, to bacteria living deep in ocean or in the human gut. Ultimately, the researchers hope to apply this algorithm to cancer cells to monitor early stages of the disease when normal cells first turn into malignant ones. Pevzner and colleagues published their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Computational Biology.