DNA Zoo Australia intern Ashling Charles bags Pawsey People’s Choice Award for 2020

DNA Zoo Australia offered two projects this year collaborating with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Summer Internship program. This program is designed to enable undergraduate students to develop skills in computational science by giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in advanced computing research projects. Interns were  supervised by DNA Zoo teams from Perth and Houston and undertook challenging research projects utilizing the resources provided by the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

DNA Zoo teams provided the genomes datasets and Pawsey provided access to high-performance computing, visualization facilities, large-scale data storage and high-speed communications along with expert help from both teams to make the best use of technology.


Ashling Charles, conducted research into the genomic alignment of DNA Zoo assemblies towards Mapping conservation in the human genome with single-base-pair resolution. The key was to find a proficient solution to aligning mammalian genomes for comparative analyses. CACTUS; a reference-free whole-genome multiple alignment program was selected for investigation. Ashling focused on conducting the preliminary testing and implementation of the software package for DNA Zoo genome data.


PAWSEY held an evening event where each intern presented their research, all relating to computational science. Ashling won the People’s Choice Award for her presentation on CACTUS. We are thrilled by this response and hope to further our efforts towards the rapid generation and release of high-quality genomic resources. 


Ashling's poster can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jc96mrizfc1oguu/AABNNxWRO69C4toEniBL-jfja?dl=0

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