News Release Archive



December 22, 2010: Scientists reveal how biological activity is regulated in fruit fly and roundworm genomes
Scientists publish catalogs of the fruit fly and roundworm's functional genomic elements: DNA sequences in the genome that carry the instructions and determine which genes are turned on and off at various times in different cells. The papers reporting these new findings appear in the Dec. 24 issue of Science and are authored by members of the model organism ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (modENCODE) Consortium, which is funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, more than a dozen companion modENCODE papers will be published online in the journals Nature, Genome Research and Genome Biology.


November 10, 2010: Researchers discover key mutation in acute myeloid leukemia
Researchers discover mutations in a particular gene that affects the treatment prognosis for some patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive blood cancer that kills 9,000 Americans annually. The scientists report their results in the Nov. 11, 2010, online issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health co-funded the study.

November 2, 2010: NIH researchers identify genetic elements influencing the risk of type 2 diabetes
A team led by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, capture the most comprehensive snapshot to date of DNA regions that regulate genes in human pancreatic islet cells, a subset of which produces insulin. The study highlights the importance of genome regulatory sequences in human health and disease, particularly type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 20 million people in the United States and 200 million people worldwide. The findings appear Nov. 3 in Cell Metabolism.


October 27, 2010: 1000 Genomes Project publishes analysis of completed pilot phase
Small genetic differences between individuals help explain why some people have a higher risk than others for developing illnesses such as diabetes or cancer. In the journal Nature, the 1000 Genomes Project, an international public-private consortium, published the most comprehensive map of these genetic differences, called variations, estimated to contain approximately 95 percent of the genetic variation of any person on Earth.

October 7, 2010: NIH launches Genotype-Tissue Expression project
The National Institutes of Health announces awards to support an initiative to understand how genetic variation may control gene activity and its relationship to disease. Launched as a pilot phase, the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project will create a resource researchers can use to study inherited susceptibility to illness and will establish a tissue bank for future biological studies.


September 13, 2010: NHGRI funds development of third generation DNA sequencing technologies
More than $18 million in grants to spur the development of a third generation of DNA sequencing technologies are announced by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The new technologies will sequence a person's DNA quickly and cost-effectively so it routinely can be used by biomedical researchers and health care workers to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

September 7, 2010: NIH ramps up Human Microbiome Project
The National Institutes of Health announces it has awarded approximately $42 million to expand the scope of eight demonstration projects designed to link changes in the human microbiome to health and disease. The funds will also support investigators to develop innovative technologies to improve the identification and characterization of microbial communities of the human microbiome.

September 1, 2010: Third generation map of human genetic variation published
An international consortium publishes a third-generation map of human genetic variation, called the HapMap, which includes data from an additional seven global populations, increasing the total number to 11 populations. The improved resolution will help researchers interpret current genome studies aimed at finding common and rarer genetic variants associated with complex diseases.


August 30, 2010: NHGRI selects new scientific director for intramural research
Daniel L. Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.,has been selected to be the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., announced. Dr. Kastner currently serves as Clinical Director and Director of Translational Research at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). NHGRI and NIAMS are two of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kastner will assume his position at NHGRI in early October.

August 15, 2010: Discovered gene causes Kabuki syndrome
Using a new, rapid and less expensive DNA sequencing strategy, scientists have discovered genetic alterations that account for most cases of Kabuki syndrome, a rare disorder that causes multiple birth defects and mental retardation. Instead of sequencing the entire human genome, the new approach sequences just the exome, the 1-2 percent of the human genome that contains protein-coding genes. The work was published August 15, 2010 in advanced online edition of Nature Genetics.


July 21, 2010: NIHSeniorHealth Site Offers Tips on Creating a Family Health History
Creating a Family Health History is the newest topic on the NIHSeniorHealth website. NIHSeniorHealth is a health and wellness website designed especially for older adults from the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health.


June 21, 2010: NIH and Wellcome Trust Announce Partnership to Support Population-based Genome Studies in Africa
The National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in London, announce a partnership to support population-based genetic studies in Africa of common, non-communicable disorders such as heart disease and cancer, as well as communicable diseases such as malaria. The studies, to be conducted by African researchers, will utilize genetic, clinical and epidemiologic screening tools that identify hereditary and non-hereditary components that contribute to the risk of illnesses.

June 7, 2010: NIH Researchers Explore How Healthy, Young Adults View the Role Genetics Plays in Improving Health
Most healthy young adults place greater emphasis on health habits than on genetic risk factors when considering what causes common diseases, a research team from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit finds. The study, based on a survey of 25 to 45 year olds, will be released June 8, 2010 in an early online edition of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.


May 20, 2010: NIH Human Microbiome Project Researchers Publish First Genomic Collection of Human Microbes
The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) publishes an analysis of 178 genomes from microbes that live in or on the human body. The researchers discovered novel genes and proteins that serve functions in human health and disease, adding a new level of understanding to what is known about the complexity and diversity of these organisms.

May 6, 2010: Complete Neanderthal Genome Sequenced
Researchers produce the first whole genome sequence of the 3 billion letters in the Neanderthal genome, and the initial analysis suggests that up to 2 percent of the DNA in the genome of present-day humans outside of Africa originated in Neanderthals or in Neanderthals' ancestors. The international research team, which includes researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), reports its findings in the May 7, 2010, issue of Science.

May 6, 2010: NHGRI Researchers Use New Sequencing Strategies To Discover Rare Inherited Illness Rapidly
A team of researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute demonstrates a new technical strategy that promises to rapidly determine the genetic cause for very rare inherited illnesses. Relying on inexpensive, high-speed sequencing and a newly developed ability to capture pieces of the genome that encode genes, the team diagnosed an extremely rare X chromosome-linked cleft palate syndrome known to affect just two families.


April 5, 2010: NHGRI Names New Chief of Genome Technology Branch
The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, names Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D., as the new chief of its Genome Technology Branch, the largest of seven branches in the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research. The branch is recognized for developing innovative methods and approaches to advance our understanding about the structure and function of genomes.


March 31, 2010: Songbird Genome Analysis Reveals New Insights Into Vocal Behavior
An international research consortium identifies more than 800 genes that appear to play a role in the male zebra finch's ability to learn elaborate songs from his father. The researchers also found evidence that song behavior engages complex gene regulatory networks within the brain of the songbird &mash: networks that rely on parts of the genome once considered junk. The zebra finch genome sequence and analysis published in the April 1 issue of the journal Nature was funded in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

March 18, 2010: NHGRI Launches Genomic Careers Resource for Students
To help students planning their professional careers understand the opportunities in the fields of genetics and genomics, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) launches the Genomic Careers Resource on the institute's Web site, The careers resource showcases nearly 50 career opportunities through video interviews, career profiles, tools to rate potential career choices, and an interactive game.


February 26, 2010: NHGRI Launches Online Genomics Center
An online tool to help educators teach the next generation of nurses and physician assistants about genetics and genomics is launched by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The tool is part of NHGRI's effort to address the growing need among health care professionals for knowledge in this area, which is paving the way for more individualized approaches to detect, treat and prevent many diseases.

February 10, 2010: Researchers Discover First Genes for Stuttering
Stuttering may be the result of a glitch in the day-to-day process by which cellular components in key regions of the brain are broken down and recycled, says a study in the Feb. 10 Online First issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, led by researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified three genes as a source of stuttering in volunteers in Pakistan, the United States, and England. Mutations in two of the genes have already been implicated in other rare metabolic disorders also involved in cell recycling, while mutations in a third, closely related, gene have now been shown to be associated for the first time with a disorder in humans.


January 19, 2010: Newly Identified Genes Influence Insulin and Glucose Regulation
An international research consortium finds 13 new genetic variants that influence blood glucose regulation, insulin resistance and the function of insulin-secreting beta cells in populations of European descent. Five of the newly discovered variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes in the United States and worldwide. The results of two studies, conducted by the Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin Related Traits Consortium (MAGIC), provide important clues about the role of beta cells in the development of type 2 diabetes. The studies, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, appear online January 17, 2010, in Nature Genetics.

January 19, 2010: The Cancer Genome Atlas Identifies Distinct Subtypes of Deadly Brain Cancer That May Lead to New Treatment Strategies
The most common form of malignant brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is not a single disease but appears to be four distinct molecular subtypes, according to a study by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network. The researchers of this study also found that response to aggressive chemotherapy and radiation differed by subtype. The study, published Jan. 19, 2010 in Cancer Cell, provides a solid framework for investigation of targeted therapies that may improve the near uniformly fatal prognosis of this cancer. The research team for TCGA is a collaborative effort funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

Last Updated: February 13, 2015

Last updated: February 13, 2015