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Illumina BeadChips help to decipher 90,000 DNA samples

Illumina : 01 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Researchers taking part in a new initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust have selected Illumina's Infinium HD BeadChips to analyse 90,000 DNA samples.
The new initiative aims to decipher the molecular basis of human disease and includes participation from leading research groups around the globe. Together, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) and 12 independent consortia will collect more than 120,000 DNA samples and analyse them for both single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs).

The new series of genome-wide association studies are collectively the world's largest genetic research initiative conducted to date, and is expected to uncover genetic variants linked to many diseases such as multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and asthma. In addition to 90,000 samples collected from study participants, 6,000 control samples will be collected and analysed using Illumina's Infinium HD Human1M-Duo BeadChip.

'Genetic research provides valuable and often unexpected insights into complex diseases, and promises to assist with the development of new and more effective treatments,' said Professor Leena Peltonen, head of human Ggenetics at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and deputy chair of the WTCCC2. 'By conducting a series of studies of this magnitude, and using cutting-edge technologies, we now have the means to analyse samples five times faster and on a scale larger than ever before,' continued Panos Deloukas, PhD, senior investigator and head of genotyping at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Over the next two years, researchers involved with the Wellcome Trust initiative are expected to generate as many as 120 billion pieces of genetic data. Bill Cookson, MD, PhD, and his team at Imperial College London are among 12 independent groups who selected Illumina's HD Infinium BeadChips to analyze DNA samples for genetic variants linked to complex diseases.

'Last year we identified a locus strongly associated with childhood onset asthma using Illumina's HumanHap300 BeadChip and published our results in Nature in a matter of months,' said Dr Bill Cookson. 'For the Wellcome Trust initiative, we chose to work with Illumina's Infinium HD products because we are keen to repeat our success. By leveraging the increased density of the HD Assay, we will genotype 16,000 samples two times faster than before.'

'Our HD BeadChips feature up to 2.3 million SNPs per chip and provide researchers with significant advances, including increased sample throughput, lower input sample volume, and improvements to the Infinium Assay that enhance overall system performance,' said Tristan Orpin, senior vice president of commercial operations at Illumina. 'The decision to use Illumina's HD DNA Analysis BeadChips to study 90,000 samples further validates that our products deliver leading performance, and are becoming the platform of choice by investigators worldwide.'
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