NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche announced today that the Neuromuscular Disorder-Chip Consortium has selected Roche NimbleGen microarrays for its genetic research on neuromuscular disorders (NMDs).
The researchers will use custom-designed NimbleGen Human CGH 12x135K microarrays to look for NMD-related gene and exon level rearrangements, deletions, or insertions — particularly for NMDs such as Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophies, limb girdle muscular dystrophies, congenital muscular dystrophies, hereditary motor-sensory neuropathies, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies.
The consortium also plans to use customized NimbleGen Human Sequence Capture 385K arrays for capturing DNA fragments representing all known genes in groups of NMDs. These fragments can then be coupled with high-throughput sequencing to assess genetic variation in NMDs.
The NMD-Chip Consortium, a European Union Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development, includes researchers from 13 European institutions in eight countries. The consortium's goals are to not only learn more about the genetics underpinning NMDs, but also to try to find faster and more cost-effective ways to study and diagnose the conditions. Inherited NMDs affect roughly one in 1,000 people and cause progressive muscle and/or motor nerve degeneration.
University of the Mediterranée and National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) researcher Nicolas Levy is the European coordinator for the NMD-Chip project. In a statement released today, Levy said that NimbleGen's high-density array technology, in conjunction with new bioinformatics tools, "should completely renew our point of view on NMDs, by providing fast, reliable and accurate answers, at a much lower cost than ever before."