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Tanmoy Bhattacharya of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Theoretical Division will talk about the laboratory’s research in HIV genetics and how the deluge of new data is going to impact its future at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 12 at the Bradbury Science Museum. The talk is the second in a series of evening lectures planned this year at the museum, and is free and open to the public.
“In biology, access to large amounts of genetic information about organisms revolutionized the way we could analyze their behavior and relationships; Los Alamos scientists contributed to this development on both the experimental and theoretical fronts,” Bhattacharya said.
The talk, titled “Genetics in the Era of Big Data,” will examine how the laboratory’s ability to process massive amounts of data with supercomputers is helping scientists understand, among other issues, the HIV virus.
Los Alamos developed, and maintains, a database of all genetic sequences of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Analysis of these sequences has already led researchers to understand the origins of the virus, its biology and how it manages to evade the immune system. Scientists are pursuing a vaccine that can protect against this disease. Rapid advances in sequencing techniques are ushering in the era of big data in genetic research, and promises enormous gains in the field.
Bhattacharya received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, and his doctoral degree in theoretical physics from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Physics in Mumbai, Maharashtra.