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Faster, cheaper way to find disease genes in human genome passes initial test
Date:8/17/2009

uivalent effort," Shendure said. The data-gathering for this project started in November of 2008, and finished in February 2009. However, with the technical advances the researchers have achieved, a similar type of rare disease could be solved in a matter of weeks, and in the future even more rapidly.

As "second-generation" DNA sequencing technologies such as this expand in their use and overcome obstacles in the cost and time for collecting data, Shendure predicts different challenges will follow each step. For example, the amount of raw data that is collected by these sequencing instruments at the UW alone soon will be measured in petabytes. A petabyte is one quadrillion units of computer data, roughly the equivalent of 6 billion Web photos. New computational approaches for data analysis are a major part of the UW efforts, and they are expanding the new information that can be obtained with an exome-based approach.

"Massively parallel technologies that make it possible to study individual genomes have only recently emerged," Shendure said, "but hold significant promise for gaining new insights in human biology and medicine. This approach to human exome sequencing will be the key in scaling everyone's efforts to explore the genetics of both susceptibility and resistance to more complex human diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases."


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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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