Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yay Science!!

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health brought up some interesting points at a recent talk at my school.

Recovery Act:
- Funding health care research
- Funding whole genome sequencing of cancers and projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)

"...the scope of the TCGA Research Network has expanded to include more than 20 tumor types and thousands of samples over the next five years. Each cancer will undergo comprehensive genomic characterization that incorporates powerful bioinformatic and data analysis components. The expansion of TCGA is expected to lead to the most comprehensive understanding of cancer genomes and will enable researchers to further mine the data generated by TCGA to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

50 Acute Myeloid Leukemia genomes have been sequenced (leukemic cells and the same patient's 'normal' cells). 10-20 Myelodysplastic Syndrome genomes are currently in the works. Numerous breast cancer and prostate cancer genomes have been completed with more in the works. We're already learning awesome things about these genomes. Check out this AWESOME study that was published in Nature. I got to speak to the author of this paper and have colleagues that work directly with him.

So there, yay science! And yay the recovery act.

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