EurekAlert: Gene activity database could spare thousands of mice

EurekAlert: Gene activity database could spare thousands of mice. “A comprehensive database of gene activity in mice across ten disease models, which could significantly reduce animal use worldwide, has been developed by scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, which gives a full picture of the immune response to different pathogens.”

Genes for Good: Harnessing the power of Facebook to study a large, diverse genetic pool (University of Michigan)

University of Michigan: Genes for Good: Harnessing the power of Facebook to study a large, diverse genetic pool. “Collecting DNA samples for human genetic studies can be an expensive, lengthy process that has often made it difficult to include diverse populations in studies of medical and health data. University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues believe they have found a way to harness the power of social media and its ubiquitous presence to recruit a large, diverse participant pool they hope will help provide quick, reliable data for genetic studies. Their study appears in the June 13 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.”

Live Long And Prosper: How Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe Will Mine Its Giant DNA Database For Health And Wealth (Forbes)

Forbes: Live Long And Prosper: How Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe Will Mine Its Giant DNA Database For Health And Wealth. “…while it might make interesting cocktail conversation to reveal that you are 5% Scandinavian and have a genetic disposition to sneeze in the sun, 23andMe’s ambitions are much grander. [Anne] Wojcicki wants to leverage the exponentially plunging costs of genetic sequencing (down 99% in a decade) and 23andMe’s massive DNA library (the world’s largest genetic research database) to fuel a ‘biotech machine’ that will not just indicate genetic predispositions to certain diseases but also help create the drugs that will treat those diseases.”

Northwestern Now: Northwestern-UIUC researchers launch Illinois’ first-ever twins registry

Northwestern Now: Northwestern-UIUC researchers launch Illinois’ first-ever twins registry. “Northwestern University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have partnered to launch the Illinois Twins Project (ITP), the first-ever such database in the state, which will be a scientific resource for researchers interested in how genes and environment influence twins and multiples.”

Purdue University: Genetic testing has a data problem. New software can help.

Purdue University: Genetic testing has a data problem. New software can help.. “In recent years, the market for direct-to-consumer genetic testing has exploded. The number of people who used at-home DNA tests more than doubled in 2017, most of them in the U.S. About 1 in 25 American adults now know where their ancestors came from, thanks to companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe. As the tests become more popular, these companies are grappling with how to store all the accumulating data and how to process results quickly. A new tool called TeraPCA, created by researchers at Purdue University, is now available to help. The results were published in the journal Bioinformatics.”

Nature: Cancer geneticists tackle troubling ethnic bias in studies

Nature: Cancer geneticists tackle troubling ethnic bias in studies. “… most studies and genetic databases are populated mainly by data from people of European descent. This knowledge gap exacerbates disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes around the world. In the United States, for example, African American men are about twice as likely as white men to die of prostate cancer. But researchers who study these inequities say they are encouraged by renewed interest in closing the data gap from their colleagues and funders, including the US government.”

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’ (Miami Herald)

Miami Herald: UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’. “A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for scientists to use gene editing for reproductive purposes, but stopped short of calling for a ban. The experts also called for the U.N. health agency to create a database of scientists working on gene editing.”