The ability to generate sequence and marker data in almost any region of the human genome facilitates the mapping of genes that contribute to diseases and other traits which have a genetic factor in their origins. These sequence and marker data also permit the identification of the specific alleles contributing to disease. When the data is coupled with the appropriate statistical analyses, it greatly increases our power to investigate conditions with a genetic component. Further, with the rapid increase in the quantity and availability of sequence data from multiple species, identification of genes, functional domains of genes, and even novel metabolic pathways can be accomplished. The Bioinformatics Core provides advice for study design, computer-based investigation, and statistical analysis. The Core has two complementary divisions. The facility in Young Hall is focused on protein analysis. The Gonda Center Core is focused on genetic analysis. Here investigators are provided with the necessary computers and programs to accomplish their gene mapping and identification goals. The two divisions have a close interaction, and share expertise, computer programs and facilities. In addition, the Bioinformatics Core plays an important role in the interdepartmental Bioinformatics program at UCLA.
The Gonda Bioinformatics Core currently provides a number of resources to investigators. Investigators have access to two laboratories of PC computers, located in rooms 5545 and 6545 of the Gonda Research Center. These computers are connected to the departmental network of Unix-based systems. Instructions on how to use these computers and obtain access to the network are given on web pages at the Human Genetics Bioinformatics web site. Available software includes computer packages for data quality checks and data management. Many of these programs are developed in-house. The Core also provides access to the most powerful and up-to-date statistical and genetic analysis programs. Some of these analysis programs are also developed in house. Core personnel keep abreast of developments in the field to make new and updated programs and methodology rapidly available to the UCLA research community. Web-based tutorials and documentation are available for the data management and analysis packages. Hardcopies of the program manuals, manuscripts presenting the theory behind these programs and examples of good research papers using the software are also available in folders in the Core Facility.
Another primary service of the Gonda Center Core is to provide access to experienced researchers in the field. The Core includes experts in data quality assurance, data management, statistical genetics, biocomputing, positional cloning, genotype analysis and sequence analysis. We particularly encourage researchers to seek advice during the planning and development of their study design.
The Human Genetics Bioinformatics Cluster
The Human Genetics maintains a cluster of Linux-based servers for bioinformatics use by affiliated researchers. As of 2006-03-28 there are 20 nodes with 2 CPU each running 2.4-3.0 GHz for a total of 100.8 effective GHz.