Monday, April 07, 2008

Technique accelerates analysis for 1,000 Genomes Project

The 1,000 Genomes Project is to benefit from a powerful new computational tool which can analyse half a million DNA sequences within ten minutes.

The tool, which uses an innovative statistical technique to analyse genetics data faster and more accurately than previous methods, should allow scientists to detect more subtle genetic variations at a lower cost.

Over the last five years, the experimental technology used to obtain genetic sequences has massively improved. Whereas it took 13 years to obtain the first fully sequenced human genome, scientists now plan to sequence 1,000 more human genomes within the next three years, to find the subtle genetic variations between different human beings.

One of these techniques is pyrosequencing, which provides longer sequences of base pairs (250 compared to 35 with other methods). However, with these new techniques comes an enormous amount of data, so scientists are continually looking for innovative new techniques to analyse the data at a higher speed and to a greater accuracy than ever before.

"We're on the edge of a real technological revolution that I think will help us understand the genetic causes of diseases in humans and how genetic materials determine traits in animals," said Gabor Marth, a member of the 1,000 Genomes Project from from Boston College in the USA. "It is going to lead to less expensive technologies that will allow researchers to decode any individual."

link to full article

link to 1,000 Genomes Project

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