Navigation Links
Computer program traces ancestry using anonymous DNA samples
Date:9/20/2007

Troy, N.Y. -- A group of computer scientists, mathematicians, and biologists from around the world have developed a computer algorithm that can help trace the genetic ancestry of thousands of individuals in minutes, without any prior knowledge of their background. The teams findings will be published in the September 2007 edition of the journal PLoS Genetics.

Unlike previous computer programs of its kind that require prior knowledge of an individuals ancestry and background, this new algorithm looks for specific DNA markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced snips), and needs nothing more than a DNA sample in the form of a simple cheek swab. The researchers used genetic data from previous studies to perform and confirm their research, including the new HapMap database, which is working to uncover and map variations in the human genome.

Now that we have found that the program works well, we hope to implement it on a much larger scale, using hundreds of thousands of SNPs and thousands of individuals, said Petros Drineas, the senior author of the study and assistant professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The program will be a valuable tool for understanding our genetic ancestry and targeting drugs and other medical treatments because it might be possible that these can affect people of different ancestry in very different ways.

Understanding our unique genetic makeup is a crucial step to unraveling the genetic basis for complex diseases, according to the paper. Although the human genome is 99 percent the same from human to human, it is that 1 percent that can have a major impact on our response to diseases, viruses, medications, and toxins. If researchers can uncover the minute genetic details that set each of us apart, biomedical research and treatments can be better customized for each individual, Drineas said.

This program will help people understand their unique backgrounds and aid historians and anthropologists in their study of where different populations originated and how humans became such a hugely diverse, global society.

Their program was more than 99 percent accurate and correctly identified the ancestry of hundreds of individuals. This included people from genetically similar populations (such as Chinese and Japanese) and complex genetic populations like Puerto Ricans who can come from a variety of backgrounds including Native American, European, and African.

When we compared our findings to the existing datasets, only one individual was incorrectly identified and his background was almost equally close between Chinese and Japanese, Drineas said.

In addition to Drineas, the algorithm was developed by scientists from California, Puerto Rico, and Greece. The researchers involved include lead author Peristera Paschou from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece; Elad Ziv, Esteban G. Burchard, and Shweta Choudhry from the University of California, San Francisco; William Rodriguez-Cintron from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan; and Michael W. Mahoney from Yahoo! Research in California.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
demarg@rpi.edu
518-276-6542
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Computers to be used to find blueprint for new influenza drug
2. Supercomputer Dedicated To Bioengineering, Computational Biology Installed
3. Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers
4. Supercomputers to focus brains on AIDS dilemma
5. Designing vaccines by computer
6. Using computers and DNA to count bacteria
7. UNC computer, marine scientists collaborate to predict flow of toxic waters from Katrina
8. Large-scale Computer Simulations Reveal New Insights Into Antibiotic Resistance
9. NYU chemists use computer simulation to enhance understanding of DNA transcription
10. Computers close in on protein structure prediction
11. Computer modeling reveals hidden conversations within cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... May 16, 2017 , ... ... R&D, today announced its global Genedata Screener User Group Meetings, which ... Screener users the opportunity to share best practices in screening data analysis and ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017 Telehealth has long ... and something that has been kept completely separate ... But according to   Logicalis Healthcare Solutions , ... IT solutions and managed services provider ( www.us.logicalis.com ... overlooked – interrelationship between telehealth, imaging, and EHR ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the ... and consumer health products, today announced that it has signed an agreement with ... preclinical and clinical development of TA-46, a novel protein addressing achondroplasia, which is ...
(Date:5/12/2017)... ARBOR, Mich. , May 12, 2017 ... selected to present at the 36th annual Michigan Growth ... Forum. GreenMark, a Delaware corporation ... be presenting to investors in attendance, including more than ... deliver health benefits to society through biobased targeting technologies. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: