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New method of selecting DNA for resequencing accelerates discovery of subtle DNA variations
Date:10/14/2007

A new technology developed by scientists at Emory University will allow researchers to more easily discover subtle and overlooked genetic variations that may have serious consequences for health and disease. Called Microarray-based Genomic Selection (MGS), the research protocol allows scientists to extract and enrich specific large-sized DNA regions, then compare genetic variation among individuals using DNA resequencing methods.

The technology reported will be published online on Oct. 14 and will appear in the November print issue of the journal Nature Methods. Lead author is David Okou, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael Zwick, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine.

The goal of most human genetics researchers is to find variations in the genome that contribute to disease. Despite the success of the human genome project and the availability of a number of next-generation DNA sequencing platforms, however, the lack of a simple, inexpensive method of selecting specific regions to resequence has been a serious barrier to detecting subtle genetic variability among individuals. The Emory scientists believe that goal will be much more obtainable thanks to MGS.

MGS uses DNA oligonucleotides (probes) arrayed on a chip at high density (microarray) to directly capture and extract the target region(s) from the genome. The probes are chosen from the reference human genome and are complementary to the target(s) to capture. Once the target is selected, resequencing arrays or other sequencing technologies can be used to identify variations. The Emory scientists believe MGS will allow them to easily compare genetic variation among a number of individuals and relate that variation to health and disease.

"The human genome project focused on sequencing just one human genome--an amazing technological feat that required a very large industrial infrastructure, hundreds of
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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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