The Genome Biology special DNA60 Bioinformatics Challenge is nearly upon us: starts Monday!

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Stand by for an important update on Genome Biology's highly anticipated, ultra-tricky, ultra-cool, *supreme* DNA60 Bioinformatics Challenge with a truly amazing prize…

Recently, we excited informatics enthusiasts with the prospect of a special Genome Biology Bioinformatics Challenge in honor of DNA60, but we were lamentably low on the detail. Here, we are putting that right.

So what is this Challenge all about then?
DNA60 celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Watson and Crick's Double Helix, and Genome Biology will be marking the occasion, April 25th, with some special content. But we also wanted to have some fun, and to give away some prizes, so we decided to augment our coverage in the journal with a special Bioinformatics Challenge (we usually run these at our Beyond The Genome conferences).

The challenge will comprise five steps, and will begin 7 am ET on Monday April 22nd. The final step will be on DNA Day itself, Thursday April 25th.

Mike Schatz (l); James Taylor (r)

The curators
We are very fortunate that Michael Schatz (CSHL) and James Taylor (Emory/Galaxy) have kindly agreed to curate this challenge. We are very grateful for their time and effort, as well as their good humor and enthusiasm, and we are sure you will enjoy the challenges that they have – dare we say lovingly – put together.


The prizes
Winner – the first correct answer receives a brand new, shimmeringly shiny iPad

2x runners-up - your choice of either free registration to Beyond The Genome or one-year subscription to Genome Biology

The plan
Each step of the Challenge will require you to use all the bioinformatics wherewithal that you can muster in order to identify a hidden sequence within a dataset.

Keep an eye on this blog and Twitter (@GenomeBiology and #DNA60IFX) for a link to the Challenge start-page. For subsequent steps, your previous answer will be the key to the URL with the instructions for the next step.

Questions and queries
If you have found this blog post to be irritating and/or confusing, then you can get in touch with the questions you want answered in the comments below, or through Twitter (@GenomeBiology or #DNA60IFX)

Update: The Challenge is now live. The homepage has full details, including a schedule of the steps. Good luck!