Thousands of never-before-seen genetic variants in the human genome have been uncovered using a new genome sequencing technology. These discoveries close many human genome mapping gaps that have long resisted sequencing.
The technique, called single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing (SMRT), may now make it possible for researchers to identify potential genetic mutations behind many conditions whose genetic causes have long eluded scientists, said Evan Eichler, professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington, who led the team that conducted the study.
“We now have access to a whole new realm of genetic variation that was opaque to us before,” Eichler said.
For now, SMRT technology will remain a research tool because of its high cost, about $100,000 per genome.
Eichler predicted, “In five years there might be a long-read sequence technology that will allow clinical laboratories to sequence a patient’s chromosomes from tip to tip and say, ‘Yes, you have about three to four million SNPs and insertions deletions but you also have approximately 30,000-40,000 structural variants. Of these, a few structural variants and a few SNPs are the reason why you’re susceptible to this disease.’ Knowing all the variation is going to be a game changer.”
Source by : Science Daily News