Karthi @whendrickslab breaks the Internet for canine cancer

TGen's Internet Goes to the Dogs

If your Internet is running slow, blame Karthi Sivaprakasam.

The graduate student in Dr. Will Hendricks' and Dr. Jeffrey Trent's labs is in the process of downloading 1.2 terabytes of data to determine whether known cancer-causing genes in humans have been conserved - or evolutionarily passed down - in canines.

Her work will help people and pets, provided no one plans to use the Internet at TGen this weekend.

"Working around the clock, we should be finished this Saturday or Sunday," said Karthi, who attends Arizona State University. "It's a terabyte of public, raw data, and the fun part comes when it's time for processing."

So far, she's 600 gigabytes into her bolus of data. Karthi's research focuses on lymphoma in canines. Compared to humans, very little is known about cancer in dogs, even though our four-legged friends develop many of the same types of cancer as people and at much higher rates.

If cancer-causing genes in humans are conserved in dogs, then we can develop better tests and more effective treatments for dogs. What scientists learn from naturally occurring lymphoma in dogs can then be used by veterinarians in the clinic and oncologists in the hospital.

"If the genes are conserved, we'll know that we're comparing apples to apples," Karthi said.

"And no one else has ever done this before," said Dr. Hendricks. "TGen is the first."

First in comparative oncology! First in breaking the Internet! Go, Karthi, go!

Written by Stacy Bertinelli at 17:40

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