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Yale participates in global human genome initiative

New Haven, Conn. -- Yale is a founding member of the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative, an alliance of top international biomedical research centers formed to speed scientific and medical discoveries that target genes of the entire human genome. The initiative is sponsored by Dharmacon, Inc., manufacturer of the first complete human genome siRNA library, or compilation of short, interfering ribonucleic acid sequences. The library is designed to determine when individual genes are functioning. It uses a format that is accessible to researchers for detailed analysis of individual genes, gene families and metabolic pathways.

The siRNA sequences have blueprints in DNA and are transcribed, but not translated into proteins. Researchers have recently found that several siRNAs regulate critical gene functions in normal development and in development of cancer.

"Participation in this consortium gives us a cutting-edge technology to systematically screen the human genome using cell-based models of human diseases," said Kevin P. White, associate professor of genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology and the lead investigator for Yale.

The library will be available to the Yale University research community and will be used to screen for human gene functions. "Coupling Yale's expertise in the molecular basis of human disease with access to this siRNA library has a tremendous potential for discoveries that will lead to better diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for a wide variety of diseases, including most forms of cancer," said White.

Founding members of the Global Initiative have a broad spectrum of biomedical research interests that will provide a forum for sharing research protocols, establishing experimental standards and developing ways to exchange a
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Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
7-Oct-2005


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