Scientific Reports

A biological sequence comparison algorithm using quantum computers

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Genetic information is encoded as linear sequences of nucleotides, represented by letters ranging from thousands to billions. Differences between sequences are identified through comparative approaches like sequence analysis, where variations can occur at the individual nucleotide level or collectively due to various phenomena such as recombination or deletion. Detecting these sequence differences is vital for understanding biology and medicine, but the complexity and size of genomic data require substantial classical computing power. Inspired by human visual perception and pixel representation on quantum computers, we leverage these techniques to implement pairwise sequence analysis. Our method utilizes the Flexible Representation of Quantum Images (FRQI) framework, enabling comparisons at a fine granularity to single letters or amino acids within gene sequences. This novel approach enhances accuracy and resolution, surpassing traditional methods by capturing subtle genetic variations with precision. In summary, our approach offers algorithmic advantages, including reduced time complexity, improved space efficiency, and accurate sequence comparisons. The novelty lies in applying the FRQI algorithm to compare quantum images in genome sequencing, allowing for examination at the individual letter or amino acid level. This breakthrough holds promise for advancing biological data analysis and enables a more comprehensive understanding of genetic information.