Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colorful Human Genome Map Makes The Invisible Visible; Doctors Know Where To Look For Cancer Clues, Genetic Diagnoses

Date:
December 1, 1999
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have devised the first comprehensive color-coded guide to the human genome. The effort integrates three ways of looking at the human genome by marking critical points with lantern-like signposts that can be seen under a fluorescent light. The culmination of eight years of work at Cedars-Sinai and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the study appeared in the October issue of the scientific journal, Genome Research.

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 29, 1999) ‘V Imagine a drab satellite photo of the United States, clipped into tiny pieces and strewn across a tabletop. If someone handed you one scrap and asked you to guess the location, where would you begin?

The dilemma is not unlike the one that has been faced by scientists trying to elicit practical information from our evolving knowledge of the human genome.

Using rough guides, guesswork, and months of arduous trial and error, they have struggled to identify certain breaks on chromosomes that indicate an aggressive form of cancer, or clues to a sick child's genetic diagnosis. But the landmarks are few and the necessary information elusive, hidden among millions of basepairs on each chromosome.

Dr. Julie R. Korenberg, who holds the Geri and Richard Brawerman Chair in Molecular Genetics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has now devised the first comprehensive color-coded guide to the human genome. The culmination of eight years of work by her research team at Cedars-Sinai and associates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her study appeared in the October issue of the scientific journal, Genome Research.

The effort integrates three ways of looking at the human genome by marking critical points with lantern-like signposts that can be seen under a fluorescent light. Therefore, if a scientist wants directions to a site known (or suspected) to exist on a genetic, physical, or transcript outline of the genome, he or she needs only follow the illuminated colors to its neighborhood.

On the proverbial satellite photo described above, Korenberg's map would point you to the correct zip code, if not the precise street address. ԤThis has tremendous practical application," said Dr. Korenberg. "It makes the invisible visible by providing a means of translating clinical problems rapidly into the genome." For example, an oncologist could examine a patient's DNA to see whether she had an aggressive or slow-growing form of a particular cancer and use the information to design an appropriate chemotherapy schedule.

A pediatric specialist could quickly diagnose a newborn's precise genetic disorder by zeroing in on suspect regions of the baby's DNA. "Instead of this taking months and months, it could be done in a single experiment," said Dr. Korenberg. The map can be used as well to help unravel genetic and evolutionary mysteries, she explained. Unlike some proprietary guides to the genome, Dr. Korenberg's complete map is available to anyone doing genetic research or using DNA to solve practical medical problems.

Relevant sites on the genome are marked by signposts called bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) These are bacteria stripped of their essence and used as containers for actual stretches of human DNA that are illuminated and can be seen through a microscope. The BACs on Dr. Korenberg's map are linked to existing genetic and physical maps of genome sections tagged with polymerase chain reaction-based sequence tagged sites (STS). For example 1,021 links were made between STS and BAC-identified points on the genome. Previously mapped genes are clearly identified as well. To devise the map, the double helix of DNA was separated. Each sequence was broken into tiny pieces and tagged with a BAC-illuminated with fluorescent material. When a marked chromosome found its ‘§mate‘¨ on the other side of the double helix, its proper location in the sequence could be discerned. The information unveiled during the process not only fills in the blanks on innumerable sites within the genome, but provides the best bridge yet between basic bench science and applicable clinical needs. Dr. Korenberg's study is entitled, ‘§Human Genome Anatomy „o BACs (Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes) Integrating the Genetic and Cytogenetic Maps for Bridging Genome and Biomedicine.‘¨

Co-authors included Xiao-Ning Chen, a member of Dr. Korenberg's research team in the Medical Genetics Birth Defects Center at Cedars-Sinai; Jean S. Weissenbach of Genoscope, Evry Cedex, France; Melvin I. Simon of the California Institute of Technology; Bruce Birren and Thomas J. Hudson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Montreal General Hospital Research Institute at McGill University.

Significant funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.

# # #

For media information and to arrange an interview, please call 310-855-4039 or 855-4767. Thank you for not publishing this telephone number in your story.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Colorful Human Genome Map Makes The Invisible Visible; Doctors Know Where To Look For Cancer Clues, Genetic Diagnoses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991130233237.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (1999, December 1). Colorful Human Genome Map Makes The Invisible Visible; Doctors Know Where To Look For Cancer Clues, Genetic Diagnoses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991130233237.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Colorful Human Genome Map Makes The Invisible Visible; Doctors Know Where To Look For Cancer Clues, Genetic Diagnoses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991130233237.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) — Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins