Roche NimbleGen Microarrays Selected for the Neuromuscular Disorder -Chip Consortium
News Feb 27, 2009
The NMD-Chip Consortium, an initiative of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, recently selected Roche NimbleGen microarrays to accelerate and simplify genetic research of neuromuscular disorders (NMDs).
The NMD-Chip Consortium is comprised of 13 European entities from eight countries whose goal is to further our understanding of NMDs and to investigate the possibilties of developing a faster, more cost-effective investigation and diagnosis (72 hours to one week versus the current time of two weeks to one year) in the future.
Pr Nicolas Levy, University of the Mediterranée and French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), cites the importance of the Roche NimbleGen solution for NMD research: "As the European coordinator of the NMD-Chip project, I surely rely on Roche NimbleGen's very high density array technology, which is the most powerful tool to fulfill our project goals. Combined with our new bioinformatics tools, such technologies should completely renew our point of view on NMDs, by providing fast, reliable and accurate answers, at a much lower cost than ever before."
Inherited NMDs form a very large and diverse group of genetic diseases that cause progressive degeneration of the muscles and/or motor nerves that control movements. An estimated 1 out of 1,000 people may have a disabling inherited neuromuscular disease. The NMD-Chip Consortium aims to foster the research on NMDs by using a gene candidate approach to assess known forms as well as to characterize unknown forms of these disorders.
The Consortium will use custom designed NimbleGen Human CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) 12x135K microarrays to enable them to locate gene- and exon-level rearrangements, deletions, or insertions associated with a specific NMD, namely Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophies, limb girdle muscular dystrophies, congenital muscular dystrophies, and hereditary motor-sensory neuropathies or Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies.
These high-throughput CGH arrays are expected to speed discovery by allowing 12 research samples to be processed at the same time on a single array which will also reduce the cost per sample.
In addition, the Consortium will use customized NimbleGen Human Sequence Capture 385K arrays to capture DNA fragments of all known genes implied in a given group of NMDs. This technology when coupled with high-throughput sequencing like 454 sequencing will provide quick evaluation of the gene variation underlying the NMDs being researched.
As electronics become smaller and faster, the adoption of "wearables", like smart watches, has increased. However, like regular computers, wearables are vulnerable to conventional hacking. What if we could use the human body itself to transfer and collect information? This area of research is known as human body communication (HBC).