Saturday December 7, 2019
Home Lead Story Scientists Us...

Scientists Use Pocket-size Device to Map Human Genetic Code

The MinION works by detecting the change in current flow as single molecules of DNA pass through a nanopore

0
//
Scientists have found a way of mapping out human DNA.
Scientists have found a way of mapping out human DNA.
  • Scientists have found out technology that can map human genetics
  • This will be done with a DNA sequencer
  • This technology can bring a revolution in the field of study of genetics

Scientists have assembled the most complete human genome to be mapped with a single technology using a new pocket-size portable DNA sequencer, which they say could one day make genome mapping quick and simple enough to do at home.

“If you imagine the process of assembling a genome … is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, the ability to produce extremely long sequencing reads is like finding very large pieces of the puzzle, which makes the process far less complex,” said Nick Loman, a professor at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection who co-led the work.

This discovery in the field of genetics can bring revolution. VOA
This discovery in the field of genetics can bring revolution. VOA

Understanding and interpreting the human genome is a cornerstone of modern medicine, offering a wealth of information about a person’s inherited genetics risks, the antibodies they have, or how their diseases — such as cancer — have developed.

The first mapping of the human genome — essentially a person’s genetic recipe — was completed in 2003. It cost government-funded scientists $3 billion and 13 years of work.

Also Read: Mummies’ DNA Reveals Egyptians Relatives From The East 

‘Landmark for genomics’

Loman said the mini-sequencer may soon allow genome mapping to become a routine part of medical care.

“At the moment, sequencing is quite laborious and occurs in expensively equipped laboratories,” he said. “But in future, we can imagine sequencing using pocket-size devices in [doctors’] surgeries, in clinics and even in people’s own homes.”

DNA sequencing is an expensive process which is expected to become cheaper in future. Wikimedia Commons
DNA sequencing is an expensive process which is expected to become cheaper in future. Wikimedia Commons

The MinION works by detecting the change in current flow as single molecules of DNA pass through a nanopore — or tiny hole — in a membrane. Mapping a human genome with this device costs around $1,000.

“This is a landmark for genomics,” said Matt Loose of the University of Nottingham, who worked with Loman. “The long reads that are possible with nanopore sequencing will provide us with a much clearer picture of the overall structure and organization of the genome than ever before.” VOA

Next Story

Research Identifies Genes Linked to Heart Failure

The research, published journal Circulation, suggests that genetic factors significantly influence the variation in heart structure and function

0
Genes
The Study has shown that several Genes known to be important in heart failure also appear to regulate the heart size and function in healthy people. Pixabay

Researchers have found the Genes for earlier identification of people at risk of heart failure and development of new treatments.

The research team applied an artificial intelligence (AI) technique to analyse the heart MRI images of 17,000 healthy UK Biobank volunteers and found that genetic factors accounted for 22-39 per cent of variation in the size and function of the heart’s left ventricle, the organ’s main pumping chamber.

Enlargement and reduced pumping function of the left ventricle can lead to heart failure, the study said.

“It is exciting that the state-of-the-art AI techniques now allow rapid and accurate measurement of the tens of thousands of heart MRI images required for genetic studies,” said study lead researcher Nay Aung from Queen Mary University of London.

“The findings open up the possibility of earlier identification of those at risk of heart failure and of new targeted treatments,” Aung said.

The research, published journal Circulation, suggests that genetic factors significantly influence the variation in heart structure and function.

The team identified 14 regions in the human genome associated with the size and function of the left ventricle – each containing genes that regulate the early development of heart chambers and the contraction of heart muscle.

Genes
Researchers have found the Genes for earlier identification of people at risk of heart failure and development of new treatments. Pixabay

Previous studies have shown that differences in the size and function of the heart are partly influenced by genes but the researchers have not really understood the extent of that genetic influence.

This study has shown that several genes known to be important in heart failure also appear to regulate the heart size and function in healthy people.

ALSO READ: Weight Loss Can Help You Recover Type-2 Diabetes: Study

“That understanding of the genetic basis of heart structure and function in the general population improves our knowledge of how heart failure evolves,” said study researcher Steffen Petersen. (IANS)