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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Onward to the Regulome
12 May 2004 (All day)
OTTAWA, CANADA--Dozens of the world's leading molecular biologists have banded together to map out the biochemical instructions that allow organisms to make all the types of cells they need. The Canada-based effort, called the International Regulome Consortium, hopes to raise $100 million in public funding for what organizers are calling "the third generation of genomics."
The new consortium proposes to characterize and tag the 1486 known transcription factors--proteins that switch genes on and off--in the mouse genome, as well as an estimated 600 coregulators that chip in to control cellular and biological functions through networks called regulons. The entire cast of actors is known as the regulome. Roughly 75 researchers from six nations (Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Singapore) began sketching the parameters of their plan during a founding workshop held here 3 to 5 May. They hope to identify the complete set of DNA binding sites and corresponding target genes for the regulons in embryonic stem cells and a subset of the cells they differentiate into.
The mouse regulome is the obvious choice to focus on, says William Skarnes, senior scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K., given the vast amount of data already available on the animal and its similarity to humans. Still, the genetic homogeneity of largely inbred mouse strains may be misleading when it comes to understanding human stem cells, cautions Peter Andrews, professor of biomedical science and co-director of the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield, U.K. "In the human, every embryonic stem cell that we're working with that comes from a different person is genetically different," says Andrews. "We don't know, at the moment, what significance that genetic heterogeneity will have."
Consortium members hope that governments will provide support to help the group get organized as well as for ongoing operations and research. Understanding how a set of genes is regulated during development of an organism, or during disease, "will revolutionize our understanding of how cells function," says Michael Rudnicki, senior scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, who is chairing a steering committee that will manage the effort.