Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a search engine, called EvoCor, which finds genes that are functionally linked.
By typing the name of a gene type into the database, the platform generates a list of genes that are compatible and likely to function together. This list of gene candidates can then give scientists a tighter focus in their research — for example, in identifying genes that function too slowly or impair cognitive and motor skills, the variants of which may lead to Alzheimer’s or other diseases.
“We know of many genes that, when mutated, lead to disastrous outcomes,” said Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “But these genes don’t function alone. EvoCor identifies functional partners and those partners could turn out to be better targets for therapeutics.”