Please support the Progress Educational Trust's #ExtendTheLimit campaign, calling on the UK Government to extend the 10-year storage limit for eggs frozen for social reasons
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_92094

Diabetes study to sequence 3000 people's genome

11 January 2010
Appeared in BioNews 540

A landmark study is to sequence the entire genome of 3000 people in an attempt to uncover the genetic roots of Type 2 diabetes, the Times newspaper has reported. The investigation, costing £15 million, is being carried out by an Anglo-American team. It is hoped that the results will help find improved ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

Diabetes affects two million people in the UK and can cause heart disease and strokes, yet its underlying causes are poorly understood. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise have been known for some time to play a role, but scientists have become increasingly aware of the part played by genetics.

Current research into the causes of the condition relies on comparing snapshots of the DNA of people with Type 2 diabetes with that of healthy control subjects. While this method has revealed about three dozen DNA variations that affect the disease, they only account for a small part of the heritable factors known to play a role. The missing heritability is thought to be caused by variations that are too rare to be found by current techniques.

This study marks the start of a new phase of research where entire genomes are being screened. The scientists will sequence the entire DNA of 1500 people with Type 2 diabetes and 1500 people without the condition. They will then compare the results and look for variations that are more common in the group with Type 2 Diabetes. The study will also investigate how DNA influences other conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Until only recently this type of study was prohibitively expensive. In the past, sequencing the thousands of genomes required would have cost $1 billion. Now, thanks to new techniques for reading DNA, the price for each genome is £5000. The work should be completed by the middle of 2011.

Mark McCarthy, Professor of Diabetes at the University of Oxford, who is leading the British side of the study said: 'We are moving genomic research into a new phase... We will be able to pin down many more genetic effects on disease, to understand the biology more completely and give the pharmaceutical industry new targets for drugs'.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Landmark DNA study of 3,000 people to unlock mystery of type 2 diabetes
The Times |  5 January 2010
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
18 June 2012 - by Dr Linda Wijlaars 
A gene known to be found in many Alzheimer's patients has been linked to the way insulin is processed in the body. The finding could prove there is a link between Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes, explaining why people with diabetes face a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's....
23 May 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
Scientists say they have found a 'master regulator' gene, KLF14, which controls how active some fat metabolism genes are in your fat cells....
28 June 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
The largest study of genetic differences between people to date - the 1,000 Genomes Project - has completed its pilot studies. The data is now freely available...
12 April 2010 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas 
Scientists have uncovered a genetic link between low birth weight and developing type two diabetes in later life...
25 January 2010 - by Maren Urner 
An international team of 174 research centres has identified 13 new gene variants associated with blood glucose and insulin, with five linked to Type-2 diabetes. The findings - published last week in the journal Nature Genetics -raise hopes of better treatments for the condition....
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.