Navigation Links
Largest ever study of genetics of common disease just got bigger

DNA samples from 120,000 people are to be analysed in a 30 million follow up to last year's Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), the largest ever study of the genetics behind common diseases. The seven-fold increase in the number of samples to be analysed will allow researchers to look at a 25 diseases as well as studying the genetics of learning in children and individuals' responses to statins.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this new series of genome-wide association studies will be one of the most ambitious initiatives ever undertaken, bringing together leading research groups from at least 60 institutions internationally (including over 20 from the UK). Over the next two years, working in collaboration with the WTCCC or independently, the research teams are expected to analyse as many as 120 billion pieces of genetic data in the search for the genes underlying diseases such as multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and asthma.

Researchers will examine between 500,000 and 1 million variants (SNPs) per sample as well as a comprehensive set of copy number variants (CNVs). Both SNPs and CNVs are responsible of the individual variation in our genomes.

"We have now entered a new era of large-scale genetics unthinkable even a few years ago," says Professor Peter Donnelly from the University of Oxford, who will chair the consortium. "Breakthroughs in our understanding of the human genome and rapid advances in sequencing technology mean that we are able to do very powerful analysis much faster and on a vastly bigger scale than ever before."

When the results of the WTCCC were announced in 2007, it was seen as a major breakthrough for medical science and was selected as one of the scientific highlights of the year by a number of the most prestigious scientific journals, including Nature and The Lancet. It identified a number of new genes and regions of the human genome which increase peoples susceptibility to or protect them from particular diseases.

Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: It is now possible to unlock the genetics of common diseases. Although genetics tells only part of the story of disease, it can provide valuable and often unexpected insights that offer the promise of developing new treatments for these often very complex diseases.

The research has been made possible by advances in progress in improved understanding of human genome variants, pioneered by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute at Hinxton, Cambridge. The Institute will devote a large part of its high-throughput genotyping pipeline headed by Dr Panos Deloukas to test many of the DNA samples. Most of the data analysis will be undertaken at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford.

The Sanger Institute is bringing the power of its skills in genetic analysis to tackle common disease, to provide leadership, expertise and resources where they can make a difference," says Professor Leena Peltonen, who was appointed Head of Human Genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute last year. "Our redefined strategy and joint expertise of human genetics faculty will ensure we deliver yet more ground-breaking results in clinically relevant areas."


Contact: Craig Brierley
Wellcome Trust

Related biology news :

1. Largest study to investigate risk factors of autism to begin enrolling families
2. Single-largest biodiversity survey says primary rainforest is irreplaceable
3. Worlds largest investor coalition seeks further disclosure on climate change and shareholder value
4. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
5. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
6. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
7. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
8. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
9. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
10. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
11. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific ... children, doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in ... families and patients. In addition, as more children continue ... a patient,s adulthood and old age. John ... The Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015 Paris from 17 ... Paris from 17 th until 19 ... innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in the ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: one ... capture both on the same surface. This innovation is ...
(Date:11/17/2015)...  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick ... --> --> Mr. ... partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest global ... in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, ... from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: ... the company,s president and chief executive officer, will present at ... week in New York City . The ... December 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ... the website at least 15 minutes prior to the presentation ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... Calif., Nov. 23, 2015   Ceres, Inc . ... today financial results for the fiscal year ended August ... --> --> During ... forage and feed products with a better balance of ... signed distribution agreements with several leading crop input providers ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... PISCATAWAY, New Jersey , November 23, ... Centre (CCDC) announces the launch of the ... and the CSD-System, now complemented by three powerful ... support the discovery of new molecules, CSD-Materials for ... complete set of the CCDC,s applications incorporating CSD-Discovery ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... 2015   BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: ... marketer of proprietary clinical grade cell and tissue ... media and a related cloud hosted ... smart shippers ("BioLife" or the "Company"), today ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: