Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, outnumbering human cells by ten to one. The ten-year, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund Human Microbiome Project was established to understand how microbial communities impact human health. On August 16-18, 2017, NIH will host a workshop, The Human Microbiome: Emerging Themes at the Horizon of the 21st Century, to share the latest research on the human microbiome, and to evaluate what is needed to advance this field over the next decade.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is awarding $18.9 million towards research that aims to accelerates the use of genome sequencing in clinical care. The new awards will generate innovative approaches and best practices to ensure that the effectiveness of genomic medicine can be applied to all individuals and groups, including diverse and underserved populations, and in healthcare settings that extend beyond academic medical centers.
The human genetics community needs protocols that enable secure sharing of genomic data from participants in genetic research. A paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association compares three practical strategies to reduce the risk of re-identification - the process where anonymized personal genomic data can be matched with the true owner. The newest method uses advances in privacy technology based on cryptography, the mathematics of information.
Genomics and Society: Expanding the ELSI Universe, a three-day conference funded by NHGRI on the issues that spring from the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic research, will be held on June 5 - 7, 2017 by The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and UConn Health. Presentations and workshops on topics ranging from the implications of genetic testing in the criminal justice system to the uses and potential misuses of CRISPR will be covered.
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), co-funded by the National Cancer Institute and NHGRI, has greatly improved our understanding of the molecular signatures underlying different cancers. Three recent publications from the TCGA network demonstrate how using TCGA's dataset can provide greater insight into preventing, diagnosing and treating specific cancer types. The papers focus on breast, bile duct and uterine cancers and characterize cancer research at a deeper molecular level.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or SJS/TEN, is the severest of adverse drug reactions that affects the skin. NHGRI's Division of Genomic Medicine supports research to develop approaches for the use of genome sequencing and other tools to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, such as SJS/TEN, that might have saved a young woman's life.