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TGen investigators devise faster, cheaper way of analyzing the human genome
Date:9/14/2008

PHOENIX, Ariz. Sept. 14, 2008 Investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced a faster and less expensive way for scientists to find which genes might affect human health.

Using bar-codes, not unlike what shoppers find in grocery stores, TGen researchers found a way to index portions of the nearly 3-billion-base human genetic code, making it easier for scientists to zero in on the regions most likely to show variations in genetic traits.

The findings were published today in the online version of the journal Nature Methods. The study will be published in print in the journal's October edition.

Dr. David Craig, associate director of TGen's Neurogenomics Division, said the new method should cost only one-tenth, or less, of the current cost of sequencing genes commonly done to analyze Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), and in performing Genome-Wide Association (GWA) studies.

"Our goal is to find the genetic basis of disease,'' said Craig, the study's lead author. "It (the new method) provides us a way to immediately use next-generation sequencing technology for studying hundreds to thousands of individuals.''

John Pearson, the head of TGen's Bioinformatics Research Unit, said the new method would allow scientists worldwide to more easily tune their sequencing experiments, and conduct their experiments with greater speed.

"In many cases, rather than sequencing the whole genome for 10 people, researchers would rather sequence a dozen genes for 1,000 people,'' said Pearson, who contributed to the study.

TGen scientists adapted an exciting new technology known as "next generation sequencing'' to allow samples to be run and analyzed using 15 well-characterized indexes.

"Moving forward, TGen scientists are now attempting to merge this indexing approach with sequence-capture methods currently under development in their laboratories, which would likel
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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