Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists catch evolving germs and cancer cells early

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Scientists have developed a novel technique to precisely monitor and study the evolution of micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria. This is an extremely important capability as it allows scientists to investigate if new drugs designed to kill them are working, and to catch the development of resistance early on.

Scientists at A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) have developed a novel technique to precisely monitor and study the evolution of micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria. This is an extremely important capability as it allows scientists to investigate if new drugs designed to kill them are working, and catch the development of resistance early on.

Micro-organisms and cancer cells evolve more quickly than normal human cells as their rapid life-cycles enable faster selection of advantageous mutations. Previously, scientists have had to wait for the selection process to reach maturity before they can observe mutations and assess their impact.

In this new work, led by GIS Principal Investigators Dr Niranjan Nagarajan and Dr Martin Hibberd, the sensitivity of detecting mutations has been significantly increased, thus making it possible to "catch evolution in real time." Being able to do this means that scientists can now observe the process of mutation as it happens, and catch how the organism or cancer cell develops resistance to drugs used.

The novel method, known as LoFreq, was achieved by combining deep sequencing of DNA with computational analysis to detect mutations at extremely "LOw FREQuency" -- in as few as one in 1000 cells. This approach is currently being used at the GIS to study the dengue virus, characterizing subtle shifts in the viral genome in response to new antiviral drugs.

Dr Nagarajan said, "LoFreq has really allowed us to look at viral genome evolution in fine detail and we hope to use it construct better models for transmission of the dengue virus. We can also now identify key functional regions in viral genomes by highlighting spots that never mutate or mutate rapidly. In ongoing work, we are developing extensions to LoFreq that can better characterize mutations in Cancer."

Executive Director of GIS, Prof Ng Huck Hui said, "This innovation in the computational space highlights GIS's effort in developing unique capabilities in analyzing increasingly complex next-generation sequencing datasets. We expect that LoFreq will have wide utility in the analysis of viral, bacterial and cancer genome data."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Wilm, P. P. K. Aw, D. Bertrand, G. H. T. Yeo, S. H. Ong, C. H. Wong, C. C. Khor, R. Petric, M. L. Hibberd, N. Nagarajan. LoFreq: a sequence-quality aware, ultra-sensitive variant caller for uncovering cell-population heterogeneity from high-throughput sequencing datasets. Nucleic Acids Research, 2012; 40 (22): 11189 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks918

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists catch evolving germs and cancer cells early." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145744.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2013, March 7). Scientists catch evolving germs and cancer cells early. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145744.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Scientists catch evolving germs and cancer cells early." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145744.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
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