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 A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>