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Texas Research Posse Formed to Track Disease Genes

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 — Three Texas research institutes have launched a collaborative $6 million research project to identify genes associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer.

 

The three institutes—the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center—plan to collect DNA samples from about 50,000 patients a year for which they plan to develop a genetic data bank to offer new insight into the origin and treatment of disease.

 

The details of the project, known as TexGen, were announced on Wednesday by the three presidents of the institutes. It teams up some of the most prominent clinicians and geneticists in Houston and combines the resources of these three institutes plus the University of Texas' Research Center for Human Genetics and Texas Children's Hospital.

 

DNA  will be gathered by a voluntary, anonymous, one-time blood sample taken from patients at five local medical centers. The specimens will be integrated with clinical history, family history, lifestyle, and epidemiological information.

 

The project, which will cost $2 million a year, has been in the works since last fall. Local donors have already promised $4 million in support and TexGen directors expect to raise additional private donations to carry the effort through its first three years. Long-term funding is expected to come from fees paid by scientists using TexGen resources.

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.