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GEN News Highlights : May 1, 2008

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Applied Biosystems Ally on Cancer Genetic Research

Company’s SOLiD™ Systems platform will be leveraged to sequence a cancer genome and normal DNA from the same person.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Applied Biosytems are sequencing a cancer genome and normal DNA from the same individual to detect and characterize the genetic changes that occur during disease development. The parties expect to present initial findings at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s “Biology of Genomes” meeting in early May.

Scientists will use five SOLiD™ Systems from Applied Biosystems to sequence the genome of a small cell lung cancer cell line and a noncancerous cell line.  Scientists from Sanger and Applied Biosystems plan to increase sequence coverage of both genomes by identifying one SNP for every 500,000 bases of DNA. One of the goals of this research is to generate 20-fold genome coverage of the cancer genome as well as the normal DNA using paired-end reads of a wide range of insert sizes.

This collaboration is expected to advance similar research recently carried out by The Sanger Institute’s Cancer Genome Project that examined low coverage of structural variation in cancerous and normal cell lines. In that study, researchers found that the number of driver mutations is greater than previously thought, suggesting that many more genes contribute to cancer development.