Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mass Analysis of DNA from Whole Populations.

20.04.2005


One of the world’s leading scientists, Nobel Prize winner, Dr Sydney Brenner, has devised a new method for obtaining sequence information from thousands of genomes simultaneously. Current technologies can only analyse one genome at a time.



This method, to be developed by a new company called Population Genetics Technologies, is expected to significantly reduce the cost of studying large populations of genomes. Such studies are important to the discovery of genetic variations that affect common diseases and to the development of safer, more effective drugs.

The Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s leading biomedical research charities, has granted the company a £1.1m Programme Related Investment to enable it to begin development of the technology pending receipt of additional Venture Capital investments. The Intellectual Property and related patent applications underlying the technology were licensed from Compass Genetics LLC, a partnership formed several years ago by Drs Sydney Brenner, Sam Eletr and Philip Goelet.


“In order for disease research to provide more immediate benefits for society, we do not have to know everything about every gene,” said Dr. Brenner, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002*. “What is most important is to discover the variants in genes that contribute to human disease.

“This new technology will enable users to discover extremely quickly much information about such gene variants from studies of whole populations.

“It can be used also for a broad range of complex biological problems requiring many parallel analyses. Examples are elucidating genetic changes in expressed genes in many samples of cancer, or understanding the different responses that people have to drug treatment, so as to better adapt medications to the needs of individual patients.

“For example, the technology might enable the discovery of mutations, rare in a clinical trial population, but responsible for serious deleterious side effects that are discovered only when the drug is very broadly prescribed. Patients that are potentially subject to such side effects could be screened if these mutations are determined.”

Dr Sam Eletr, co-founder of the company that developed the first and leading DNA-sequencing machines, said : “Advances in technologies designed to obtain DNA sequence information are moving at a significant pace.

“However our new method, if successful, will be a huge leap forward as it is expected to provide a significant cost advantage over other techniques which analyse one genome at a time, no matter how efficiently.

“This is because our method will allow the mixing of thousands of samples in one test tube and the simultaneous interrogation of all of them in one experiment, instead of in as many experiments as there are genomes in a population.

“Although pooling techniques that allow simultaneous analysis of multiple genomes have been used, these only provide population-wide characteristics, such as the frequency of gene variation, and not information specific to individual genomes.

“We expect our technology to allow handling much larger numbers of genomes than pooling does and to have the further advantage of protecting the identities of individuals involved in any population study by allocating them a code that may be kept confidential. We expect it also be applicable to any collection of DNA molecules and genomes, whether from plants, animals, micro-organisms or humans.”

Dr Ted Bianco, Director of the Wellcome Trust’s Technology Transfer Division, which made the award, said: “This project, which uses information gained from the Human Genome Project, aims to take this knowledge to another level.

“The scale of its parallel, simultaneous analyses could prove invaluable to programmes such as the UK Biobank Project, which will make DNA samples from 500,000 middle-aged people throughout the UK available for medical research.”

Population Genetics Technologies will be located in Cambridge, UK. Its Board of Directors will include Drs Brenner and Eletr and will be chaired by Dr Mark Treherne. Dr Eletr will be acting Chief Executive Officer until the role is permanently filled.

Barry Gardner | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Inactivate vaccines faster and more effectively using electron beams
23.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>