Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VIB and UZ-K.U.Leuven join forces and bring state-of-the-art technology to Flanders

07.11.2007
Genome research can now be done 100 times faster

Belgium - Flemish biotechnologists have a world-wide reputation for deciphering genetic code. In order to further strengthen this leading position, two Flemish research institutes are joining forces and bringing new technology to Flanders which will record DNA 100 times faster than current methods. This is an essential asset as these DNA analyses hold the key to the decipherment and treatment of genetic disorders.

Why decipher DNA?
The full DNA of an organism - the genome - determines what that organism looks like and how it functions. The better we understand this, the more we can learn about the intricacies of living beings. We know the broad outline of human DNA, and scientists are now determining the DNA differences between people. These differences characterise the diversity of people but they also hold the key to a higher risk for genetic disorders such as dementia, psychosis, diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and cancer. If we know and understand the differences, we can also use them as the foundation for new treatments.

However, to record these differences efficiently, it is essential that everything moves much faster than the current technology allows. This has now become possible. So-called ‘new generation’ sequence technology has recently been developed, but it is still very expensive.

... more about:
»454 »DNA »Leuven »Technology »UZ-K »sequence

Nevertheless, VIB and UZ.-K.U. Leuven have joined forces to give Flemish scientists access to this state-of-the-art technology. Via a co-ordinated investment program, they are bringing Roche’s DNA sequence technology platform, the so-called 454 sequencing, to Flanders.

What is 454 sequencing?
This technique provides an ingenious manner to super-efficiently decipher DNA code. DNA fragments are isolated in drops of water, which function as micro-reactors. Using these pieces of DNA, 10 million identical copies are made and they are simultaneously (but individually) sequenced. This is all done on a tablet the size of a credit card which contains 1.6 million little holes in which sequence reactions are generated. Seven hours later, the DNA sequences are produced by the computer, thereby rendering a wealth of data. This technology has the advantage of producing large parts of sequences from the genomes that are to be recorded, which benefits not only the speed but also the accuracy of the information. In short, the larger the pieces of the puzzle, the quicker and more precise the image of the entire picture.

Determining sequences can now be done 100 times faster than the technologies which are currently being used. With the next version of the new technology, which should be available within a year, one experiment will yield yet another 10 times more sequence, so 1000 times more than now. Therefore, with the new technology, Flemish scientists will in one day be able to gather DNA data that would today take 3 years to compile. This is truly revolutionary!

Applications for VIB and UZ-K.U. Leuven
In order to make optimal use of these substantial investments, VIB and UZ-K.U.Leuven are mutually coordinating activities on both units. Both parties will exchange expertise and will make capacity available to one another. In addition, VIB and UZ-K.U.Leuven will be able to grant Flemish researchers from other centers access to this revolutionary technology via this platform.

The 454 sequencer will be embedded in the Genetic Service Facility of the VIB Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Antwerp under the direction of Christine Van Broeckhoven . New technology will be developed under the supervision of Jurgen Del-Favero, supporting basic research such as sequencing new, full genomes of interesting organisms (e.g. pathogenic organisms) and tracing DNA differences that cause illnesses. On top of that, there will be a large investment in translational research focusing on the development of more efficient and cheaper genetic diagnostic tests. The University of Antwerp guarantees a structural contribution towards the cost of this new investment.

Quote from VIB: “This technology will allow us to more quickly identify the molecular mechanisms of illness.”

With this investment, UZ-K.U.Leuven wishes to stimulate translational research which will, through interaction between researchers and clinicians, generate genuine innovations in the field of patient care. A powerful DNA diagnostic platform to find mutations in genes which cause, among other things, breast and bowel cancer, or are involved in illnesses such as heart, vascular illnesses and diabetes, can contribute to significant diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities.

Quote from UZ-K.U.Leuven: “This technology brings fundamental research closer to patient applications.”

Ann Van Gysel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

Further reports about: 454 DNA Leuven Technology UZ-K sequence

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>