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Wellcome Trust Expanding Genomic Disease Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A new series of genome-wide association studies driven by the Wellcome Trust and involving up to 60 international institutes will analyze DNA from around 120,000 people, the Wellcome Trust said today in a statement.
 
The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium is using £30 million ($59.5 million) to study genomic contributions to 25 diseases, as well as studying the genetics of learning in children and individuals’ response to statins, the Wellcome Trust said.
 
"Breakthroughs in our understanding of the human genome and rapid advances in sequencing technology mean that we are able to do very powerful analysis much faster and on a vastly bigger scale than ever before," said University of Oxford Professor Peter Donnelly, who will chair the consortium.
 
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute at Hinxton, Cambridge, will “devote a large part of its high-throughput genotyping pipeline” to perform DNA testing, and most of the data analysis will be performed by the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford.
 
During the two-year project, the Wellcome Trust and its collaborators will analyze as many as 120 billion pieces of genetic data in the hunt for genes that could be linked to various diseases, including multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, asthma, and others. The researchers will study between 500,000 and 1 million SNPs per sample and “a comprehensive set of copy number variants,” the Wellcome Trust said.
 
In February of this year, the Wellcome Trust made public its plan to massively increase spending on biomedical research, saying that it expects to lay out around £4 billion over the next five years to respond to medical needs and to pursue scientific opportunities.
 
Last year, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium published data from its £9 million study of genetics and disease that involved 17,000 people across the UK.

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