Project 2 DNA
Topics: DNA / Pages: 6 (1347 words) / Published: Jan 4th, 2015

Project 2: DNA Analysis
Due Dates:
Checkpoint 1 1/7/14 10%
Final Due Date 1/12/14

Students will write a program that uses arrays and files to analyze DNA sequences and determine if they represent proteins.

Special thanks to Stuart Reges and Marty Stepp of UW for use of this assignment.
I. Background
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a complex biochemical macromolecule that carries genetic information for cellular life forms and some viruses. DNA is also the mechanism through which genetic information from parents is passed on during reproduction. DNA consists of long chains of chemical compounds called nucleotides. Four nucleotides are present in DNA: Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), and Thymine (T). Certain regions of the DNA are called genes. Most genes encode instructions for building proteins (they're called "protein-coding" genes). These proteins are responsible for carrying out most of the life processes of the organism. Nucleotides in a gene are organized into codons. Codons are groups of three nucleotides and are written as the first letters of their nucleotides (e.g., TAC or GGA). Each codon uniquely encodes a single amino acid, a building block of proteins.

The sequences of DNA that encode proteins occur between a start codon (which we will assume to be ATG) and a stop codon (which is any of TAA, TAG, or TGA). Not all regions of DNA are genes; large portions that do not lie between a valid start and stop codon are called intergenic DNA and have other (possibly unknown) function. Computational biologists examine large DNA data files to find patterns and important information, such as which regions are genes. Sometimes they are interested in the percentages of mass accounted for by each of the four nucleotide types. Often high percentages of Cytosine (C) and Guanine (G) are indicators of important genetic data.

In this assignment, you will write a program the reads named nucleotide sequences from an input file and performs analysis on the

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