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Miami Institute of Human Genomics Purchases Two SOLiDs, Collaborates with Life Tech in Autism Study

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By Julia Karow

The John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has purchased two Applied Biosystems SOLiD sequencing systems and is collaborating with Life Technologies on an autism sequencing study, the institute said last week.

For the study, researchers led by Margaret Pericak-Vance plan to sequence genes in regions of the genome that have been linked to autism in genome-wide association studies in a large autism family dataset.

For example, the researchers found one "highly significant" association of autism with a region on chromosome 5 that is surrounded by two genes, cadherin 10 and cadherin 9, that encode neuronal cell-adhesion proteins. "We intend to use next-generation sequencing to further understand what is happening in these loci that confer risk for autism," said Pericak-Vance in a statement.

This summer, the University of Miami said that the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics had received a $20 million gift to contribute to the autism sequencing project (see In Sequence 9/1/2009).

The Miami researchers plan to use the two SOLiD instruments initially for the autism project, followed later on by studies of other disorders.

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