Interpreting genomic data via entropic dissection.
Since the emergence of high-throughput genome sequencing platforms and more recently the next-generation platforms, the genome databases are growing at an astronomical rate. Tremendous efforts have been invested in recent years in understanding intriguing complexities beneath the vast ocean of genomic data. This is apparent in the spurt of computational methods for interpreting these data in the past few years. Genomic data interpretation is notoriously difficult, partly owing to the inherent heterogeneities appearing at different scales. Methods developed to interpret these data often suffer from their inability to adequately measure the underlying heterogeneities and thus lead to confounding results. Here, we present an information entropy-based approach that unravels the distinctive patterns underlying genomic data efficiently and thus is applicable in addressing a variety of biological problems. We show the robustness and consistency of the proposed methodology in addressing three different biological problems of significance--identification of alien DNAs in bacterial genomes, detection of structural variants in cancer cell lines and alignment-free genome comparison.