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Live from Philadelphia, It's ASHG

GTO's caffeinating up and bracing for a jam-packed day here at ASHG in Philadelphia. Some interesting info on the personal genomics front: at a talk this morning in the genomics track, NHGRI's Les Biesecker updated attendees on the ClinSeq project, saying that one of the main challenges so far is that the team can't keep up with demand from volunteers who want in on a project that may one day extend to whole-genome sequencing of its participants. Guess that answers the question of whether the general public finds this appealing.

Of course, data analysis has been another problem. "We are generating data at a rate that is much faster than our ability to analyze it," Biesecker said. In the works for ClinSeq:

  • Expanding diversity of its cohort
  • Migrating to next-gen sequencing platforms

The project is still in its candidate gene sequencing phase. After that, Biesecker said, the goal is to move to full exome sequencing for participants and eventually to whole-genome sequencing.


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.