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Ready? Set? Assemble!

There's still time to contribute to the Assemblathon project out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Davis, says Iddo Friedberg at Byte Size Biology. The UC teams, which have already released two simulated genomes, invite competing groups to "use their own software to each assemble one or more genomes," according to the Assemblathon Web site. The organizers aim to compare different assembly programs — both new and old — in an effort to determine which programs work best for which assembly situations. All entries are due February 6, and final results will be publicized at the Genome Assembly Workshop at UC Santa Cruz on March 11. "As someone involved in two analogous efforts — prediction of protein function and of genotype/phenotype connections — I think this is a terrific idea that will help us advance the field of sequence assembly," Friedberg says.