In the 17th century, 15,000 French immigrants bravely made their way to eastern Canada. Some headed further west, many returned to France, but a hardy few stayed in Quebec. Starting with a total of just 2,600 people between 1608 and 1760, this group would grow 800-fold over the next 10 or so generations, with little marriage outside the group. The result is the Quebec "founder" population -- a genetically homogenous group of individuals that is ideally suited to the genetic study of disease."
"Today's best-known gene-hunting company, deCODE genetics, an Icelandic gene and drug discovery company, has identified genes for diabetes, heart disease, and asthma within the small Icelandic population. Now a biotech company, Genizon BioSciences, is finding similar success with the French Canadians of Quebec. Based in Quebec, the company is taking advantage of new advances in genomics to find disease genes that have been hard to detect with other methods."
The New York Times Gene Increases Diabetes Risk, Scientists Find
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"Scientists have discovered a variant gene that leads to a sizable extra risk of Type 2 diabetes and is carried by more than a third of the American population.
The finding is being reported today in the journal Nature Genetics by researchers at Decode Genetics, a company in Reykjavik, Iceland, that specializes in finding the genetic roots of human diseases. Decode Genetics first found the variant gene - one of many different versions that exist in the human population - in Icelanders and has now confirmed the finding in a Danish and an American population."redux [06.08.04]
Mercury News New obesity study checks genetic link
"Researchers on a hunt for the causes of obesity are looking for clues in the genetic makeup of 3,000 inhabitants of the Micronesian island of Kosrae in the western Pacific.
Gene hunters from Rockefeller University announced Monday that they will use gene chips developed by Affymetrix in Santa Clara to look through hundreds of thousands of variations in the genetic code of the Kosrae population to discover why most of them are seriously overweight -- and why others on the island are not."redux [02.09.04]
Sunday Tasmanian Tassie DNA rights shock
"AN INTERSTATE biotech company owns intellectual property rights in research from DNA donated by Tasmanians.
The IP deal was behind the collapse of the original $20 million Intelligent Island Bioinformatics Centre for Excellence.
The bioinformatics centre was going to have to pay to use the information."redux [03.10.03]
Salon National Genes, Inc.
"The newest resources "discovered" in Estonia are the genes of its 1.4 million citizens. The country's government and a Silicon Valley start-up called EGeen International are treating the Estonian gene pool as a commodity to be exploited for medical research and profit.
EGeen owns the exclusive commercial rights to data from the Estonian Gene Bank Project. In March the bank will begin a full-scale effort to collect blood samples and medical histories that will help scientists understand Estonians from the inside out."redux [02.17.01]
The Scientist Gene Pool Expeditions
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"A good gene pool, like love, is where you find it. Now genomics researchers have two new ones to swoon over: one from Estonia, a crossroads of Scandinavian cultures and the northernmost of the former Soviet Union's Baltic republics; and from Tonga, an island kingdom half a world away where a Polynesian people has lived in near-perfect isolation for close to 3,500 years. Tonga and Estonia laid final plans last November and December, respectively, for national gene pool exploration programs aimed at discovering disease-associated genes and developing therapies based on the discoveries.
They follow the trail blazed by Iceland, where for several years the gene pool of 275,000 Icelanders has been the fishing preserve of Reykjavik-based deCODE Genetics which is hunting for gene variants that affect serious, often chronic diseases by finding statistical links between Icelanders' genotypes and their inherited illnesses."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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