LA JOLLA, CALIF. Scientists exploring the genetic causes of illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, cancer and diabetes now have a new tool a reference DNA dataset built by researchers at Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI).
STSI researchers announced the release of the Scripps Wellderly Genome Resource (SWGR) today at the Future of Genomic Medicine Conference, the institute's annual educational gathering of the nation's leading genetics experts.
The SWGR is comprised of the whole genome sequences of 454 participants in the Wellderly Study, an ongoing STSI research project that is searching for the genetic secrets behind lifelong health by looking at the genes of healthy elderly people.
What makes this dataset stand out from other genomic references is the exceptional healthspan of the Wellderly participants, who have lived at least 80 years without developing any chronic diseases. Since other reference genomes include DNA data from younger participants, there is no way of knowing whether their disease status will change later in life.
Because the SWGR contains information from a healthy population, it can serve as a control group for a wide range of genomic studies of most late-onset adult diseases.
"We hope the Scripps Wellderly Genome Resource will play an important role in providing the research community extensive genomic characterization of a vital phenotype healthspan which has not been previously available," said Eric Topol, M.D., director of STSI and chief academic officer of Scripps Health. "We will continue to build on this with diploid, phased genomes in larger numbers of our Wellderly cohort."
Scientists around the world can now access the SWGR free through the San Diego Supercomputer and the financial support of a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award.
"The Scripps Wellderly Genome Resource offers the genomics community a
|Contact: Keith Darcé|