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Genome

Princeton University Scientists Demonstrate Path to Linking the Genome to Healthy Tissues and Disease

Dr. Barbara Engelhardt

Princeton, NJ, October 25, 2017 — Rachel Nuwer reports that our genomes help to determine who we are — the countless variations between individuals that encode the complexity of tissues and functions throughout the body.

Since scientists first decoded a draft of the human genome more than 15 years ago, many questions have lingered, two of which have been addressed in a major new study co-led by a Princeton University computer scientist:

  • Is it possible, despite the complexity of billions of bits of genetic information and their variations between people, to develop a mechanistic model for how healthy bodies function?
  • Furthermore, can this model be used to understand how certain diseases emerge?

On Oct. 11, scientists came the closest yet to delivering an answer of “yes.” Continue reading

Princeton University Researchers Flag Hundreds of New Genes That Could Contribute to Autism

PrincetonPrinceton, NJ, August 22, 2016 — Adam Hadhazy in Princeton University’s Office of Engineering Communications writes that investigators eager to uncover the genetic basis of autism could now have hundreds of promising new leads thanks to a study by Princeton University and Simons Foundation researchers.

In the first effort of its kind, the research team developed a machine-learning program that scoured the whole human genome to predict which genes may contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The results of the program’s analyses — a rogue’s gallery of 2,500 candidate genes — vastly expand on the 65 autism-risk genes currently known. Continue reading

Scientists Announce Plans for Synthetic Human Genomes; Could Revolutionize Biotechnology

Genome 1Washington, DC, June 3, 2016 ― Joel Achenbach reports in The Washington Post that three weeks ago, 130 scientists, entrepreneurs and policy leaders held an invitation-only, closed-door meeting at Harvard University to discuss an ambitious plan to create synthetic human genomes.

Now, after a flurry of criticism over the secrecy of the effort, the participants have published their idea, declaring that they’re launching a project to radically reduce the cost of synthesizing genomes — a potentially revolutionary development in biotechnology that could enable technicians to grow human organs for transplantation.

The proposal, published Thursday in the journal Science, is the latest sign that biotechnology is going through a rapidly advancing but ethically fraught period. Continue reading

NIH Genome Sequencing Program Targets the Genomic Bases of Common, Rare Disease

Bethesda, MD, February 1, 2016 ― The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, today launched the Centers for Common Disease Genomics (CCDG), which will use genome sequencing to explore the genomic contributions to common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autism. Continue reading

NIH Genome Sequencing Program Targets the Genomic Bases of Common, Rare Disease

Genome colorBethesda, MD, January 15, 2016 ― The National Institutes of Health (NIH)yesterday announced it will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, today launched the Centers for Common Disease Genomics (CCDG), which will use genome sequencing to explore the genomic contributions to common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autism. Continue reading