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Schizophrenia Genome Project Will Use Next-Gen Sequencing to Identify Disease-Causing Genes -- If the Price is Right

NEW YORK, March 29 (GenomeWeb News) - The Mental Illness and Neuroscience Discovery Institute and the National Center for Genome Resources plan to use next-generation genome sequencers to identify the genetic basis of schizophrenia as part of their Schizophrenia Genome Project, the groups said today.

 

The catch is, the cost of conducting whole-genome sequencing must come down before the partners can start the sequencing component of their project, according to NCGR President Stephen Kingsmore.

 

The SGP hopes to identify schizophrenia predisposition and protection genes. Specifically, researchers at MIND and NCGR will identify common schizophrenia genes by sequencing and analyzing the genomes of an undisclosed number of affected individuals to discover all mutation candidates, the groups said.

 

They will confirm schizophrenia by comparing mutations in disease and control samples.

 

The SGP will use next-generation genome sequencing and analysis technologies when the cost to sequence an entire organism falls close to the $1,000 mark, according to Kingsmore. "It's just too expensive now," he told GenomeWeb News today. He said 454 Life Sciences and Solexa have interesting technologies.

 

The MIND and the NGCR are nonprofits based in New Mexico.

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