Illumina, Inc. has announced that Germany's National Genome Research Network (NGFN) has selected Illumina's Infinium® HumanCNV370-Duo, HumanHap300-Duo, and HumanHap550 BeadChips to conduct one of the world's largest genetic research projects to date.
Scientists will genotype 8,000 patients and controls using Illumina's tools to investigate genetic variations to better understand underlying causes of 25 complex diseases. Diseases to be studied using Illumina's tools include several mental health diseases such as Bipolar disease and Schizophrenia, in addition to Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Alcohol addiction, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Psoriasis.
"Genome-wide association studies will provide the life science community with genetic maps for some of the most complex diseases," said Professor Stefan Schreiber of the University of Kiel.
"The National Genome Research Network aims to drive this analysis to a meta-level above single (indication) phenotypes and thus understand genetic risk as an overarching susceptibility for general processes like inflammation, degeneration, or cancer," Schreiber continued.
Researchers at the NGFN will compare patients' data with the data of healthy individuals to identify genetic variations and differences associated with the diseases, ultimately aiding in the development of better treatment options.
Additionally, scientists are interested in revealing the genetic causes of longevity in order to understand the principles of the aging process and identify new treatment approaches for age-related diseases.
"In accelerated timeframes, the HumanHap300-Duo and HumanHap550, two of the three Infinium BeadChips to be used in the NGFN study, have been used to identify novel variants linked to complex conditions such as Type-2 diabetes, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease," said Jay Flatley, Illumina's Chief Executive Officer.
"With these types of results, we are not only excited that scientists at the National Genome Research Network have selected Illumina's technology to help perform one of the world's largest genetic research projects to date, but that they have the same accelerated discoveries as other researchers," Flatley added.
In addition to Illumina's HumanHap300-Duo and HumanHap550 BeadChips, which can detect up to 317,000 and 550,000 genetic variations on a single BeadChip, respectively, the new HumanCNV370-Duo BeadChip will be used as part of the NGFN study.
This BeadChip contains 15,000 non-polymorphic probes and is specifically designed to interrogate copy number variation regions. Researchers will utilize the BeadChips' dual-sample formats to simultaneously type a disease sample and a normal sample, allowing direct comparison of data, eliminating array-to-array variability.