26 Mar 2019
World class team will leverage the power and accuracy of Illumina’s NovaSeq™ Sequencing System to map the interaction between human DNA and diseases through the ages
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Where do brain disorders come from? In an effort to shed light on the role of microbes in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, Professor Eske Willerslev and his team will build one of the largest genomic datasets of its kind, by complete DNA mapping of thousands of ancient Eurasian human remains. The data will be obtained from bones and teeth, the oldest remains dating back 10,000 years.
The international, multi-disciplinary team of scientists, which includes specialists in ancient genomics, neuro-genetics, population genetics, archaeology, linguistics, and experts in brain health, among others, will focus on creating two unique subsets of genomic data. The first panel is a 5,000 ancient human genomes panel. The second panel will consist of ancient pathogen DNA that is associated with human diseases. Both panels, which will be made publicly available, will together advance our understanding of the evolution of disease variance and its interaction with the human genome and pathogen pressure. The project will generate and analyze one of the largest sets of ancient human and pathogen genome panels ever created.
“Over the past 10,000 years, mankind has experienced some of the greatest lifestyle changes in the history of our species,” said Professor Willerslev, Lundbeck Foundation Professor at the
In order to decode the genetic origins and evolution of human diseases, Professor Willerslev and his team will utilize Illumina’s most powerful sequencer, the NovaSeq™6000 System, which was designed to open new horizons for larger, more robust experiments, providing the throughput to properly power large-cohort studies. Projects of this scale benefit from speed, throughput and data quality, and as such this project will leverage the S4 flow cell to sequence up to 20 billion ancient DNA fragments every two days.
“The NovaSeq 6000 was the obvious choice for this project with its unrivaled data quality and high-throughput capabilities,” remarks Professor Willerslev. “While we conceived this project to explore the evolutionary origins of genetic disorders years ago, it was simply impossible to realize before Illumina’s NovaSeq System came on the market. We are delighted that
“Illumina is thrilled to be working with Professor Willerslev and his team on this extraordinary project,” said
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