By Diana Kwon

When Angela Brooks first saw Gattaca—a 1997 film about a futuristic society where humans are classified based on their genetic code—in high school, she was captivated by the possibilities hidden in the genome. “I’ve always been fascinated by the concept that every cell in your body has exactly the same DNA sequence but . . . can then have a different phenotype,” Brooks says.

She was particularly drawn to alternative splicing, the process through which multiple proteins emerge from a single gene. This became the focus of her PhD research at the University of California, Berkeley, where she investigated the proteins regulating alternative splicing in fruit flies. As a grad student, Brooks was also involved in a number of other projects, including modENCODE, which was aimed at creating an encyclopedia of all the functional elements in the Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans genomes. Brooks also created a program, JuncBASE (junction-based analysis of splicing events), to help analyze the large amounts of high-throughput sequencing data generated in these experiments by using techniques such as RNA-seq.

Read the full news article at The Scientist.