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News

A computer scientist and geneticist team up to produce a list of genes implicated in diseases

Duke University Pratt School Of Engineering : 23 December, 2006  (Technical Article)
When a team of Duke researchers published a list of genes likely to contribute to human ailments ranging from Alzheimer
When a team of Duke researchers published a list of genes likely to contribute to human ailments ranging from Alzheimer’s and autism to diabetes and obesity, it shed light not only on diseases that afflict millions of people but also on how research that may lead to new treatments and cures is changing across the university.

The change is revealed in the diverse backgrounds of Duke professors Randy Jirtle and Alexander Hartemink and graduate student Philippe Luedi, who published the study in Genome Research : Jirtle is a well-established geneticist. Hartemink is a computer scientist and former Rhodes Scholar. Luedi’s training in bioinformatics stands at the intersection of the two disciplines.

Such a marriage of computation and biology is becoming increasingly common at Duke, reflecting a broader shift towards research across familiar scientific boundaries.

Jirtle and Hartemink describe their collaboration as leading to a sort of genetic “treasure map.” The treasures are imprinted genes, valuable as candidates for disease-causing genetic abnormalities but buried among the tens of thousands of genes in the human genome.
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