Genetic 'Rosetta Stone' unveiled in Nature
Scientists have developed a new community resource that may act as a Rosetta Stone for revealing the genetic basis of traits and disease.
A new paper in Nature describes the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel, or DGRP, which provides the highest-resolution view to date of the genome structure and variation in a population of 192 fruit flies with diverse traits.
The study was led by Trudy Mackay of North Carolina State University, in collaboration with the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine and David Mittelman of Virginia Tech's Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, as well as a large group of researchers around the world.
"One of the grand challenges of biology is to understand how genetic variants and environmental factors interact to produce variation in complex phenotypes such as height, behaviors, and disease susceptibility within populations. This effort has been stymied by the lack of knowledge of all genetic variants in a population of a genetically tractable model organism. The DGRP sequences provide such a resource," Mackay noted.
Its been known for a long time that genes often work in concert to produce different effects, or phenotypes. But determining the exact contribution of these genes and genetic changes within them to animal traits remains a key challenge in genetics.
Thats where model organisms like Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly) shine. Using inbred strains of fruit flies in controlled environments, researchers can use whole genome data, which captures genetic changes at the nucleotide level, to better explain why strains exhibit variable traits. The DGRP acts as a living library of this information, helping researchers understand both common traits and rare variants.
Mittelman, with support from the NVIDIA Foundations Compute the Cure Award, aided the study by analyzing genetic variation in the Drosophila population. To truly exploit whole genome sequencing as a means of determining the basis for traits and disease, it is critical to develop methods for detecting all forms of genetic variation. In this study, we developed a method for measuring tandem repeat variation, which has been shown to modulate gene function, traits, and disease, said Mittelman.
A companion paper describing this method has been recently accepted for publication which will enable others to exploit these tools in their research.
The study has far reaching effects that span animal breeding, pesticide development, and personalized medicine.
Provided by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Transformational fruit fly genome catalog completed Feb 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Little plant has big stories to tell Aug 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- How the 'Quarter' Horse won the rodeo Feb 17, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find genes important to sleep Feb 22, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Inactive genes surprisingly common in humans Feb 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
Genetics May 22, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, in partnership with the University's Brain Tumor Program, have developed a new mouse model of malignant peripheral ...
Genetics May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Northwestern University scientists have shown a gene involved in neurodegenerative disease also plays a critical role in the proper function of the circadian clock.
Genetics May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 1 |
Informed consent is the backbone of patient care. Genetic testing has long required patient consent and patients have had a "right not to know" the results. However, as 21st century medicine now begins to use the tools of ...
Genetics May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 3 |
Ethicists provide framework supporting new recommendations on reporting incidental findings in gene sequencing
In a paper published in Science Express, a group of experts led by bioethicists in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine provide a framework for the new American College of Medical Geneti ...
Genetics May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Type 2 diabetes is more aggressive in children than adults, with signs of serious complications seen just a few years after diagnosis, new research finds.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
3 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
9 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |