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U of Iowa to Use GenomeQuest Software to Interpret Data from Sequencing-based Hearing Loss Test

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The University of Iowa's Molecular Otolaryngology and Renal Research Laboratory plans to use GenomeQuest's GQ-Dx software for its upcoming genetic hearing loss test as well as for a genetic kidney disorder test that is in development, the company said this week.

The hearing loss test, called Otologic Sequence Capture of Pathogenic Exons, or OtoSCOPE, will use exon sequencing on an Illumina platform to screen nearly 60 hearing loss genes for pathogenic mutations and is scheduled to be launched late this summer (CSN 3/22/2011).

GQ-Dx is a clinical decision support system for genome-based diagnostics that can analyze and report information about variations and changes in genes and proteins.

According to GenomeQuest, the Iowa researchers are using GQ-Dx to compare a patient's DNA with the human reference genome, known hearing loss mutations, and common genome variations.

The program processes patient data and integrates it with multi-gene databases "with greater speed and flexibility than other analysis pipelines" and has reporting capabilities that "allow us to generate high-quality molecular diagnostic results that can be easily interpreted by clinicians," said Eliot Shearer, a researcher at MORL, in a company statement.

The GQ-Dx software will run on computational infrastructure housed at GenomeQuest, reducing MORL's requirements to update its own infrastructure, the company said.

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