Mapping the DNA sequence of Ashkenazi Jews

September 9, 2014 9:23 PM

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Mapping the DNA sequence of Ashkenazi Jews

Led by Itsik Pe'er, associate professor of computer science at Columbia Engineering, a team of researchers has created a data resource that will improve genomic research in the Ashkenazi Jewish population and lead to more effective personalized medicine. The team, which includes experts from 11 labs in the New York City area and Israel, focused on the Ashkenazi Jewish population because of its demographic history of genetic isolation and the resulting abundance of population-specific mutations and high prevalence of rare genetic disorders. The Ashkenazi Jewish population has played an important role in human genetics, with notable successes in gene mapping as well as prenatal and cancer screening. The study was published online on Nature Communications today.

"Our study is the first full DNA sequence dataset available for Ashkenazi Jewish genomes," says Pe'er, who is also a co-chair of the Health Analytics Center at Columbia's Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, as well as a member of its Foundations of Data Science Center. "With this comprehens...

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