Google Backs Harvard Scientist’s 100,000-Genome Quest

March 1, 2008

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — A Harvard University scientist backed by Google Inc. and OrbiMed Advisors LLC plans to unlock the secrets of common diseases by decoding the DNA of 100,000 people in the world’s biggest gene sequencing project.

Harvard’s George Church plans to spend $1 billion to tie DNA information to each person’s health history, creating a database for finding new medicines. The U.S., U.K., China and Sweden this year began working together to decipher the genetic makeup of 1,000 people at a cost of $50 million.

Google, owner of the most popular Internet search engine, is looking for ways to give people greater control over their medical data. Along with the unspecified donation to Church, the Mountain View, California-based company said last week that it would work with the Cleveland Clinic to better organize health records, and last year gave $3.9 million to 23andme Inc., a seller of genomic data to individuals.

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Diabetes gene find: a step closer to gene profiling

February 13, 2007

A Canadian-led team has identified five genes associated to Type 2 diabetes, by scanning DNA from almost 7,000 individuals.

Dr. Polychronakos says the field is moving so quickly it will soon be possible to predict from birth the ailments to which a particluar person will become prone.

“You’d be able to take a drop of blood from a newborn and determine if they have genes associated with diabetes, or heart disease or Alzheimer’s or any of the common health problems,” said Dr. Polychronakos, acknowledging there would be difficult social and ethical issues associated with such gene profiling.

The researchers are now looking for other genes that increase the susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes, which will help improve diagnoses and treatment.

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HUGO’s 12th Human Genome Meeting

February 12, 2007

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) will be sponsoring 50 FREE REGISTRATIONS TO CANADIAN STUDENTS to attend:

HUGO‘s 12th Human Genome Meeting
Montreal, Canada
Mon 21-Thu 24 May 2007

The mission of HGM2007 is to help delegates update and expand their knowledge in the ever-evolving field of human genome research. A stimulating and interesting programme of plenary lectures, symposia, workshops, poster presentations, and social events make HGM2007 and ideal forum to share information and results with researchers in both science and industry. This is an increasingly exciting time for scientists working on the Human Genome, and HGM2007 provides an opportunity for participants to establish international collaborations.

For more information about the sponsorship, please visit the following website:

http://www.genomecanada.ca/hgm2007/students/