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BGI to Sequence Thousands of Genomes for Autism Speaks

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI will sequence the genomes of 10,000 people who are participants in the Autism Speaks biobank and are members of families in which two or more children are on the autism spectrum.

Under the partnership, BGI plans to generate genome sequences of 2,000 families who are part of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and to collect and sequence genome samples from some individuals in China, BGI and Autism Speaks said today. The AGRE includes medical histories along with genetic materials and is the largest data resource for families with two or more children affected by autism.

The two-year collaboration, which aims to produce the largest library of sequenced genomes of individuals with autism spectrum disorders in the world, will begin with an initial pilot phase of 100 genomes.

"Piece by piece, we are discovering genetic mutations that can cause autism," Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson said in a statement. "Our ultimate goal is that the information we gain from whole-genome sequencing will contribute to the development of effective treatments to improve the lives of individuals affected by autism."

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.