Magazine article USA TODAY

Tapping Crowd-Sourced Data for Genomic Clues

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tapping Crowd-Sourced Data for Genomic Clues

Article excerpt

Scientists have discovered 15 genome sites linked to depression in people of European ancestry. Many of these regions of depression-linked genetic variation turn out to be involved in regulating gene expression and the birth of new neurons in the developing brain. However--in a twist --the researchers did not have to sequence anyone's genes. Instead, they analyzed data already shared by people who had purchased their own genetic profiles via an online service and elected to participate in its research option. This made it possible to leverage the statistical power of a huge sample size to detect weak genetic signals associated with a diagnosis likely traceable to multiple underlying illness processes.

This novel use of crowd-sourced data was confirmed with results from traditional genetics approaches in the study. Roy Perlis--medical school staff psychiatrist at Harvard and director of the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston --and colleagues from industry reported their findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

It is well known that at least some depression runs in families and some risk is inherited. Yet, prior to this study, conventional genome-wide approaches had failed to identify reliably chromosomal sites associated with the illness in populations with European roots. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.