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Oct 21, 2013

U.K. Organizations Partner with Illumina to Sequence 10,000 Whole Genomes

  • Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced an initiative that marks the beginning of a national endeavor to sequence 100,000 genomes in the U.K. National Health Service (NHS). The University of Cambridge will work with Genomics England and Illumina on a three-year project that will sequence 10,000 whole genomes of people with rare genetic diseases to launch this initiative.

    "This project will bring enormous improvements to the care of patients with rare genetic diseases. It will shorten the gap between the first signs of ill-health in a person and providing a conclusive diagnosis by using the power of modern DNA sequencing methods," said John Bradley, M.D., director of the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

    The University of Cambridge will work with a team led by David Bentley, Ph.D., vice president and chief scientist at Illumina, to bring routine clinical whole genome sequencing to the bedside in an effort to improve patient care in the U.K. NHS. Illumina will deliver whole genome sequence data for the project using technology invented in Cambridge. The project represents a pilot for Genomics England, which will provide 2,000 samples.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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