Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Major European Project to Create New Knowledge Base of Gene-Disease Relationships

22.01.2008
The 12 Million Euro ‘GEN2PHEN’ project, funded by the European Commission, aims to harness the web to capture and unify genetic information that fundamentally impacts on a person’s health and disease processes.

As the heart of this, a large integrated genetic variation catalogue will be built to arm researchers with valuable information in the battle against disorders like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Lead scientist Professor Anthony Brookes, of the University of Leicester’s world-renowned Department of Genetics, said: “Technologies for the exploration of genetic variation in ‘common’ disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune states, have only been devised the last few years, with widespread deployment only now happening. An unprecedented torrent of exciting, valuable, and important research observations is therefore now arriving, and yet there is no universal internet-ready system able to receive all these data, to store and combine them, and to make them available for researchers and doctors alike to evaluate and exploit.

“It has been estimated that 60% of all humans will be affected in their lifetime by one or more ‘major’ gene mutations that they inherit in their DNA. Major gene mutations that cause disease were first discovered in 1949, although it has only been possible to identify these in large numbers in recent decades. Moreover, myriad ‘minor’ genetic variations that we carry from birth, and which distinguish individuals, will fundamentally influence a person’s health and susceptibility or resistance to disease processes, in interaction with environmental factors. Cancer brings an additional consideration, with its onset and progression being highly dependant upon genetic changes that occur in our bodies during our lives.”

The GEN2PHEN project plans to internationally orchestrate the electronic gathering and use of data that show how gene sequences (‘genotypes’) contribute to inter-individual differences in disease, drug response, and other characteristics (‘phenotypes’). These relationships (usually in the form of “genotype-phenotype” information stored in scattered databases) are deemed to become essential for future prognosis, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

GEN2PHEN will build a set of database components, tools and technologies that will help all research results pertaining to genome variation and disease to be properly integrated and immediately available for holistic analysis via the internet. The project will deploy a major internet portal, called the “GEN2PHEN Knowledge Centre”, which will prominently profile the solutions generated by the project and set these in the context of powerful search capabilities for genotype-phenotype data and the very latest expertise on genotype-phenotype databases.

Professor Brookes said: “The progress made should provide maximal utility with global relevance, be highly durable, ensure effective education and training in the field, and meet with the highest possible standards of ethical and social responsibility.

“The various GEN2PHEN project members bring with them deep connections into the few other major international projects in this area, promising globally-coordinated progress over the next few years towards far more comprehensive, useful, and accessible knowledge regarding the genetic basis of human existence. The medical and societal benefits from all of this should be immense.”

Specific project activities will include:

Analysis of the genotype-phenotype field, to specify current needs and practices

Development of key standards for the genotype-phenotype field

Analysis of ethical aspects that need to be addressed regarding the managed data

Creation of generic database components, services and integration infrastructures for the genotype-phenotype domain

Creation of data search and presentation solutions for genotype-phenotype knowledge

Facilitation of the transfer of data into research and diagnostic genotype-phenotype databases

Building a major genotype-phenotype internet portal (a ‘knowledge domain’)

Deployment of genotype-phenotype solutions to the community
Innovative ways to address system durability and long-term financing
Repeated system utility and validation pilots
The initiative - called Genotype-To-Phenotype Databases: A Holistic Solution (or ‘GEN2PHEN’ for short) - will be led by Professor Anthony Brookes at the University of Leicester (UK), and executed by 19 leading research institutions, including 17 European, one Indian and one South African institutes. The project is funded with 12 Million Euro awarded by the European Commission following a competitive call targeting this area of research in the recently initiated 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>