Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European project opens way for better understanding of human diseases

21.02.2002


In the edition of Nature dated Thursday 21 February 2002, an international team of scientists report their analysis of the genome of fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). The project, largely funded through a €6.9 million from the European Commission, is likely to have major implications for the future of cancer and other bio-medical research. Fifty of the yeast genes were found to have significant similarity with genes involved in human diseases, including cystic fibrosis, hereditary deafness and non insulin dependent diabetes, and half were found to be cancer related. Because yeast cells are similar to human cells but easier to study, this work is leading to a better understanding of what each gene controls, and how they may be involved in cancer and other diseases in humans.



Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin commented this scientific breakthrough saying: "This type of research is yet another example for the strong link between scientic advancement and practical use for the citizen. Unlike other genomics projects, Europe has taken the leading role in this research through networking of the best. That is precisely what I have been advocating since the Lisbon summit in spring 2000, where I proposed to create a European Research Area."

Schizosaccharomyces pombe is known as fission yeast because it reproduces by splitting rather than by budding like Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker`s yeast), and is occasionally used for brewing beer. Like man, it is an eukaryote, i.e. an organism that, unlike bacteria, contains its genome in a nucleus inside the cell and is generally thought to be more complex.


The completion of the sequence and analysis of this genome is the result of the joint effort of 13 European laboratories led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute which sequenced two-thirds of the genome and did the gene predictions and annotation for all of the sequence. The global analysis of the genome was performed jointly by Cancer Research UK and the Sanger Institute. The second phase of the sequencing was carried out by a European Consortium led by the Sanger Institute. The consortium consisted of major European laboratories that also contributed to the S. cerevisiae genome project. The majority of funding for the project was from the European Commission (€6.9 million out of a total budget of €9.4 million).

The 133 authors of the Nature paper include Dr Paul Nurse of Cancer Research UK, whose work on fission yeast and cell division recently led to the award for the Nobel prize for Medicine, and Dr Bart Barrell and Val Wood from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge.

Dr Nurse stated: `Biomedicine depends on our study of model organisms, which can provide key insights into the way in which the more complex human genome works. The genome fission yeast is only the sixth higher (eukaryotic) life form to be decoded. Significantly, many decisions the humble yeast cell makes in cell division use genes that are closely related to genes implicated in many human cancers: this small organism could prove vital in helping to better understand and treat cancer and other diseases.`

Val Wood, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, commented: `Each step in our study of genomes brings new and surprising understanding of the common basis that underlies the way cells work. In this international collaboration we have provided high-quality sequence and precise analysis of the genes buried in the fission yeast genetic code, demonstrating the value of sharing genomic information. Through this shared effort, the genome of S. pombe is one of the best annotated of any non-bacterial cell. As well as finding cancer-related genes, we have begun to illustrate how other functions in this, perhaps the simplest complex cell, can bring new tools to understanding ourselves and our place in evolution.`

The joint effort to sequence and analyse the sequence of a micro-organism to better understand and improve human health is a typical an example of the continuing European effort in the area of Genomics and Biotechnology for Health. Building on such major achievements, the European Commission proposes to allocate €2.2 billion to this priority in the forthcoming Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006).

Stéphane Hogan | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/S_pombe/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>