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NIH Offering $10M to Advance Gene Variant Science

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health will provide funding of $10 million over two years for studies relating genetic variations to biological mechanisms or disease causality. 
 
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, on behalf of the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative, will spread the money out over as many as 13 awards, NIH said.
 
NIDA is interested in funding studies using relatively low throughput approaches, such as transgenic mouse research, to test promising variants for changes in function or for studies using high-throughput tests to study different aspects of variant function.
 
Direct costs for the studies are limited to $300,000 per year, with no more than $600,000 over the entire two-year grant period.
 
The GEI is a four-year initiative across the NIH focused on supporting efforts to identify major genetic susceptibility factors for common diseases.
 
A critical challenge in functional genomics research is establishing that a particular genetic variant is contributing to or causing a disease. The integration of genomics and other ‘omics technologies with high-throughput technologies into pathway-driven approaches will be necessary, NIH said, in order to understand the involvement of environment, development, and genetics in complex human diseases.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.