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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Next Chapter in Sequencing Launched
20 November 2006 (All day)
The era of sequencing an organism for sequence's sake is coming to an end. Today, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in Bethesda, Maryland, announced it will pour more than $116 million into three sequencing centers, which will use "large-scale" sequencing to focus on unraveling the sources of disease and elucidating the workings of disease-causing organisms. The hefty grants will go to three of the key participants in the Human Genome Project: Eric Lander of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Richard Wilson of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Richard Gibbs of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
The human genome was officially completed in 2003 (ScienceNOW, 14 April 2003), and since then scientists have sequenced everything from the mouse to the chimpanzee to, most recently, the honeybee and sea urchin (ScienceNOW, 25 October). Studies like these have spurred the field of comparative genomics, as scientists seek to better understand relationships between species and how they evolved. Meanwhile, gene-sequencing technology has progressed by leaps and bounds, becoming far cheaper in the process.
The next step, as NHGRI sees it, is to begin devoting resources to projects that will result in more immediate medical benefits. Those include endeavors such as the Cancer Genome Atlas, which NHGRI launched with the National Cancer Institute almost a year ago to identify the gene changes that lead to cancer. The initial results were reported in September (Science, 15 September 2006, p. 1370). So why do more large-scale sequencing? "We have such a long way to go before we understand the inner workings of the human genome" and how it's linked to disease, says Eric Green, NHGRI's scientific director and head of the National Institutes of Health intramural sequencing center. "We're only going to learn that by generating lots more sequencing data."
With that in mind, NHGRI next year plans to award $48 million to the Broad Institute Sequencing Platform, $41 million to Washington University's Genome Sequencing Center, and $27.6 million to the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor. The grants run for 4 years, and how much each center gets after next year will depend on the agency's funding, says Jane Peterson, NHGRI's associate director of extramural research.
"It's an exciting time in sequencing," says Edward Rubin, director of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, in Walnut Creek, California. "The future landscape has really changed."