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Company Publishes Mitochondrial DNA-Sequence Database

NEW YORK, April 9 - Biotech company MitoKor today said it has published the mitochondrial DNA sequences of more than 500 ethnically diverse individuals and hopes to use the data to uncover links between SNPs in the DNA and a variety of diseases.

Researchers from MitoKor and from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne; the VA Medical Center and University of California, San Diego; and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, sequenced and analyzed mitochondrial DNA among Africans, Asians, and Europeans.

The scientists now plan to perform a comparative-sequence analysis of mitochondrial DNA from large, clinically characterized patient populations with material obtained from controls, said Neil Howell, vice president of research at MitoKor and the senior author of the paper.

"Mitochondrial genetics is improving our understanding of human evolution and prehistoric migratory patterns," he said. "In addition, mitochondrial sequence variation has been implicated as a causative or contributing factor in a number of human diseases. We are now combining these two aspects to understand the genetics of these complex disorders."

The data, published in the current issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, may be accessed at www.mitokor.com/science/560mtdnas.php.

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