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Licensing deal marks coming of age for University of Washington, University of Alabama-Birmingham
Date:10/19/2013

ce of the strands, which had readable regions 42 to 53 nucleotides long.

While mycobacterial nanopores were first studied as potential chinks in the armor of the tuberculosis bacteria, they are now part of efforts to make genetic sequencing faster and cheaper. Gundlach believes this may lead to readily available personalized medicine, potentially revealing predispositions for a variety of illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and addiction.

Sequencing reveals genetic variations, which partly determine each person's risk for many diseases, as well as which drugs will work best for each individual. Cancer centers are already sequencing tumors in search of variations that make some resistant to chemotherapy. And global sequencing studies seek to find the genetic contributors to a variety of conditions from autism to diabetes.

"The nanopore technique also can be used to identify subtle DNA modifications that happen over the lifetime of an individual," said Gundlach. Such modifications, referred to as epigenetic DNA modifications, may take place as chemical reactions on the DNA within cells -- and tell the cells how to interpret their DNA. While essential for proper cellular functioning, epigenetic modifications can also be the underlying causes of various undesired conditions.

"Epigenetic modifications are important for things like cancer," Gundlach said, "and being able to provide DNA sequencing that can directly identify epigenetic changes is one of the charms of the nanopore sequencing method."


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Contact: Clare LaFond
clarela@uw.edu
206-616-9540
UW Center for Commercialization (UW C4C)
Source:Eurekalert

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