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Korea NIH Expands KARE Project with Second Affymetrix Technology Order

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Affymetrix Inc. announced that the Republic of Korea’s National Institute of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the Korean Association Resource (KARE) project and using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 to analyze 13,000 additional samples.

The expansion of the project enables the Korea NIH to increase the overall genetic power of the project to validate previous findings and to identify new genetic variations associated with lifestyle-related complex diseases that are prevalent in Korea.

Last year, the KNIH analyzed more than 10,000 samples using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 5.0 and has successfully identified several polymorphisms associated with genetic factors for type 2 diabetes and several quantitative anthropometric and blood biochemical factors.

Researchers at the KNIH are now planning to not only replicate these associations but also unravel risk factors for additional lifestyle-related complex diseases such as metabolic syndrome using the SNP Array 6.0. All of the samples used for the KARE project are from the prospective epidemiological Ansan and Ansung cohorts in Korea.

With the SNP Array 6.0, researchers are able to use a single, whole-genome panel to analyze larger, multiple sample sets for both the initial scan and replication phases of an association study, all at a much more affordable cost per sample.

Traditionally, scientists performed initial genome scans using a high-density, whole-genome panel and then validated those results across a larger sample population with custom array technology that focused on a subset of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The integrated whole-genome panel approach increases the overall genetic power of these studies and further accelerates the gene discovery process by enabling different groups to combine their data from different populations and disorders with overlapping phenotypes.

The Affymetrix microarrays will be run in the high-throughput lab of DNA Link Inc., an Affymetrix-certified service provider in Korea. DNA Link is an emerging leader in medical genetics research that is focused on establishing strong alliances with major hospitals to perform research into the genetic bases of common diseases.

SeouLin Bioscience will supply the Affymetrix microarray technology and provide technical support to the KNIH and DNA Link.