A pair of studies published in Science is providing a look at the genetic variants influencing the innate immune system's response to bacterial or viral pathogens. Along with variants influencing the expression of neighboring genes, the study helped define sets of more distant variants that orchestrate the broader immune response. The researchers also saw clues that at least some eQTLs mediating immune response early on during a bacterial infection are distinct from those at play later in the infectious process.
A new company called Human Longevity was launched this week by J. Craig Venter that will combine human genome, microbiome, and metabolome data coupled with clinical information to fuel development of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and stem cell treatments for diseases related to aging. Using $70 million in Series A financing, the firm plans to conduct genome, microbiome, and tumor sequencing on patients from the UCSD Moores Cancer Center and use their clinical phenotype and metabolomics data to create a massive database.
The 2015 federal budget proposal from the Obama Administration is seeking a marginal increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health — an increase of nearly one percent — to $30.36 billion from $30.15 billion in FY 2014. Under the proposed budget, the National Human Genome Research Institute would receive a $1 million increase to $498 million, while NCI would receive $8 million more this year, or $4.93 billion in total. United for Medical Research said the budget "falls short of reversing the damage done by a decade of flat funding ... and sequestration."