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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hunting structural variants: Population by population

Until recently, most population-scale genome sequencing studies have focused on identifying single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to explore genetic differences between individuals. Like so many SNV-based genome-wide association studies, however, these efforts have had difficulty identifying causative genetic mechanisms underlying most complex functions. More and more, the genomics community has realised that structural variation is likely responsible for many of the traits and phenotypes that scientists have not been able to attribute to SNVs. This class of variants, defined as genetic differences of 50 bp or larger, accounts for most of the DNA sequence differences between any two people. Structural variants…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Precision medicine and rare genetic variants.

Interindividual variability in drug metabolism and drug toxicity persists as a major problem for drug development and treatment. Increased or decreased capacity for drug elimination or drug action reduces drug efficacy and places substantial economic burdens on society (e.g., due to treatment of adverse drug reactions) [1]. To a great extent this variation is based on genetic differences, and indeed many drugs now carry pharmacogenomic labels regarding mandatory or informative genetic tests that have to/can be performed before prescription (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/ scienceresearch/researchareas/pharmacogenetics/ucm083378.htm).Theselabelsarebasedonthe most common allelic variants in germline or somatic genes with importance for drug metabolism that encode phase I or…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Challenges, solutions, and quality metrics of personal genome assembly in advancing precision medicine.

Even though each of us shares more than 99% of the DNA sequences in our genome, there are millions of sequence codes or structure in small regions that differ between individuals, giving us different characteristics of appearance or responsiveness to medical treatments. Currently, genetic variants in diseased tissues, such as tumors, are uncovered by exploring the differences between the reference genome and the sequences detected in the diseased tissue. However, the public reference genome was derived with the DNA from multiple individuals. As a result of this, the reference genome is incomplete and may misrepresent the sequence variants of the…

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