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“HaploSeq”, New Technique To Study DNA Origin From An Individuals Mother And Father

Update Date: Nov 04, 2013 03:56 PM EST

According to a new study, a new technique has emerged to identify whether your DNA comes from your mother or father. This technique can be a breakthrough for scientists in investigating how genes contribute to disease, improving the process to match donors with organs and to understand human migration patterns. 

"The technique will enable clinicians to better assess a person's individual risk for disease," Bing Ren, Ludwig scientist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, who led the research on the new technique, called "HaploSeq", said. "It is potentially transformative for personalized medicine." 

According to Ren with today's sequencing technologies a person's genome can be processed in about a week for $5,000. 

"In the not too distant future, everyone's genome will be sequenced," said Ren. "That will become the standard of care." 

However, he explains that this has been a problematic approach. 

Ren said everyone has two copies of each chromosome, one which comes from mom and the other from dad, but with recent methods the two copies of each gene cannot be differentiated from parents.

Researchers believe that with this new technique clinicians will be able to examine a person's risk for disease in a better way. 

"HaploSeq could enable clinicians to determine if the two mutations are on the same chromosome or on different chromosomes, which can help in risk assessment - for instance, risk may be reduced if two mutations are on the same chromosome, since the 'good' chromosome can often compensate," reported Ludwig Cancer Research

Molecular biology and computational biology is what Ren's technique relies on.  

"This advance has direct implications for the utility of genomics in clinical practice and will also have profound effects on genetic research and discovery," Ludwig scientist Siddarth Selvaraj, who contributed to the study with Ren and fellow Ludwig researcher Jesse Dixon, said.

The findings are published in Nature Biotechnology.

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