• Project Title: The Dark Matter of Genes

  • BASIS Advisor: Ms. Jefferson

  • Internship Location: Stanford University

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Gireesh Bogu

Much of the DNA that makes up who we are doesn't actually code for anything. These are called non-coding DNA, also known as “the dark matter of genes.” But what, exactly, do these non-coding DNA do? What is their purpose in our genes? My external advisor has been seeking answers to these questions and my role is to use Python, a computer programming language, to find patterns in the data. One mark of this dark matter is extended repeats of the nucleobases (the A’s, G’s, T’s, and C’s that make up our DNA). I will conduct my research at Stanford University, and my long-term project goal is to find relationships between the repeats and the coding/non-coding portion of the DNA, to better understand their function in our genes and to discover why they exist.