Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Jumping into Genomics for Drug Discovery

Drug companies are building up genomic databases to aid in the quest for new therapeutics, Reuters reports.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals teamed up with the Geisinger Health System last year to sequence 250,000 people, and with data from 35,000 research participants so far, they tell Reuters they've confirmed the associations between some 250 genes and common conditions like high cholesterol or triglyceride levels and identified dozens of new genes targets, including one for obesity.

With similar database-development goals in mind, Amgen bought Decode Genetics along with its genomic database of 2,636 Icelanders in 2012; Roche's Genentech is teaming with Human Longevity on a sequencing project; Genentech and Pfizer have each entered into deals with 23andMe, receiving access to portions of its customer database; and Biogen and Columbia Univerisity are working togeher to create a sequencing center at Columbia, Reuters adds.

"All of the companies are feeling like, 'Oh my gosh. We have to do something substantial in genomics — yesterday,'" David Goldstein, director of Columbia's Institute for Genomic Medicine, says.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.