News Release Archive


December 2013

December 12, 2013: NIH study links family structure to high blood pressure in African-American men
In a study of African-American men, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that boys who grew up in two-parent homes were less likely to have high blood pressure as adults compared to those raised by a single parent. Reported in the Dec. 12, 2013, issue of the journal Hypertension, this is the first study of an African-American population to document an association between childhood family living arrangements and blood pressure.

December 12, 2013: With new study, aquatic comb jelly floats into new evolutionary position
In a study that compares the genomes of aquatic life forms, researchers have found evidence to shuffle the branches of the tree of life. For more than a century, scientists thought that complex cell types, like neurons and muscles, evolved only once, after simple animals that lack these cell types branched from the rest of animals on the evolutionary tree. A team of researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has provided new evidence from the genomic study of a ctenophore species - a comb jelly - that challenges this long-held view.

December 2, 2013:  NIH deposits first batch of genomic data for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers can now freely access the first batch of genome sequence data from the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today. The ADSP is one of the first projects undertaken under an intensified national program of research to prevent or effectively treat Alzheimer's disease.  The first data release includes whole genome sequence (WGS) data from 410 individuals in 89 families. Researchers deposited completed WGS data on 61 families and have deposited WGS data on parts of the remaining 28 families, which will be completed soon.

November 2013

November 21, 2013:  Researchers identify genomic variant associated with sun sensitivity, freckles
Researchers have identified a genomic variant strongly associated with sensitivity to the sun, brown hair, blue eyes - and freckles. In the study of Icelanders, the researchers uncovered an intricate pathway involving the interspersed DNA sequence, or non-coding region, of a gene that is among a few dozen that are associated with human pigmentation traits.  The study by an international team, including researchers from the National Institutes of Health, was reported in the Nov. 21, 2013, online edition of the journal Cell.

November 14, 2013: First director named for NHGRI's new Division of Genomics and Society
Following an extensive search process, Dr. Green announces his selection for the first Director of the newly established Division of Genomics and Society: Dr. Lawrence Brody. A long-standing member of the institute, Dr. Brody is currently chief of the Genome Technology Branch within the Intramural Research Program and Chief Scientific Officer of the trans-NIH Center for Inherited Disease Research.

September 2013

September 30, 2013: NIH awards $17 million in grants to augment genomics research in Africa
The National Institutes of Health has awarded 10 new grants totaling up to $17 million over the next four years to support genomics research in Africa, as part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) program. This set of grants is the second disbursement of H3Africa awards and brings the total amount of funding since the 2010 launch of the program to about $74 million.

September 27, 2013: Media Availability: NIH Launches First Phase of Microbiome Cloud Project
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the first phase of the Microbiome Cloud Project (MCP), a collaboration with Amazon Web Services that aims to improve access to and analysis of data from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP).

September 25, 2013: New NIH-funded resource focuses on use of genomic variants in medical care
Three grants totaling more than $25 million over four years will help three research groups to develop authoritative information on the millions of genomic variants relevant to human disease and the hundreds that are expected to be useful for clinical practice. The awards are from the National Institutes of Health.

September 6, 2013: New NIH awards focus on nanopore technology for DNA sequencing
The use of nanopore technology aimed at more accurate and efficient DNA sequencing is the main focus of grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The grants - nearly $17 million to eight research teams - are the latest awarded through the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)'s Advanced DNA Sequencing Technology program, which was launched in 2004. NHGRI is part of NIH.

September 6, 2013: New NIH grants to investigate disease-related variations in genetic makeup
Five research teams have received new four-year awards to study the genomics of disease susceptibility in ethnically diverse populations. The projects aim to unravel the subtle variations in genetic makeup among groups - including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and more - that may account for differences in risks for conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood lipids, in addition to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease. These research teams are receiving support - more than $3.8 million in fiscal year 2013, and nearly $14 million over four years, based on the availability of funds - through the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) program of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH.

September 4, 2013: NIH program explores the use of genomic sequencing in newborn healthcare
Can sequencing of newborns' genomes provide useful medical information beyond what current newborn screening already provides? Pilot projects to examine this important question are being funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health. Awards of $5 million to four grantees have been made in fiscal year 2013 under the Genomic Sequencing and Newborn Screening Disorders research program. The program will be funded at $25 million over five years, as funds are made available.

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July 2013

July 29, 2013: NIH researchers identify therapy that may curb kidney deterioration in patients with rare disorder
A team led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health has overcome a major biological hurdle in an effort to find improved treatments for patients with a rare disease called methylmalonic acidemia (MMA). Using genetically engineered mice created for their studies, the team identified a set of biomarkers of kidney damage - a hallmark of the disorder - and demonstrated that antioxidant therapy protected kidney function in the mice.

July 23, 2013: NIH funds new grants exploring use of genome sequencing in patient care
The National Institutes of Health has awarded four grants for up to four years to multidisciplinary research teams to explore the use of genome sequencing in medical care. The awards total approximately $6.7 million in the first year and, if funding remains available, approximately $27 million in total.

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June 2013

June 23, 2013: Kidney cancer progression linked to shifts in tumor metabolism
Investigators in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have uncovered a connection between how tumor cells use energy from metabolic processes and the aggressiveness of the most common form of kidney cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Their findings demonstrate that normal metabolism is altered in ccRCC tumor cells, and involves a shift from using one metabolic pathway to another. This change - termed a metabolic shift - correlates with tumor stage and severity in some cases.

June 13, 2013: New exhibition makes genome accessible to public
The Smithsonian Institution's first state-of-the-art exhibition about genome science, Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, opens Friday, June 14, 2013, at the National Museum of Natural History in partnership with the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The exhibition examines the complexities of the genome - the complete set of genetic or hereditary material of a living organism - and chronicles the remarkable breakthroughs that have taken place since the completion of the Human Genome Project a decade ago.

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May 2013

May 22, 2013: NIH researchers conduct first genomic survey of human skin fungal diversity
In the first study of human fungal skin diversity, National Institutes of Health researchers sequenced the DNA of fungi at skin sites of healthy adults to define the normal populations across the skin and to provide a framework for investigating fungal skin conditions. The study appears in the May 22, 2013 early online issue of Nature.

May 1, 2013: TCGA researchers identify potential drug targets, markers for leukemia risk
Investigators for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have detailed and broadly classified the genomic alterations that frequently underlie the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a deadly cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Their work paints a picture of a cancer marked by relatively few mutations compared to other types of cancer occurring in adults. The findings - which appeared online May 1, 2013 - in the New England Journal of Medicine set the stage for identifying potential new drug targets and treatment strategies for AML. They may also offer better guidance for predicting the severity of disease for individual patients.

May 1, 2013: Study establishes basis for genomic classification of endometrial cancers
A comprehensive genomic analysis of nearly 400 endometrial tumors suggests that certain molecular characteristics - such as the frequency of mutations - could complement current pathology methods and help distinguish between principal types of endometrial tumors, as well as provide insights into potential treatment strategies. The findings represent the most comprehensive characterization of the molecular alterations in endometrial cancers available to date. They were published May 2, 2013, in the journal Nature. TCGA is funded and managed by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both part of the National Institutes of Health.

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April 2013

April 12, 2013: NHGRI celebrates 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project
Like the Apollo program's single goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely, the Human Genome Project (HGP) had the single goal of deciphering the exact order of the 3 billion genetic letters encoding the information for producing a person. Since its completion on April 14, 2003, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, and the field of genomics have marched past numerous important milestones on the path to translating genomic findings into medical advances.

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January 2013

January 7, 2013: Genetic mystery of Behcet's disease unfolds along the ancient Silk Road
Researchers have identified four new regions on the human genome associated with Behcet's disease, a painful and potentially dangerous condition found predominantly in people with ancestors along the Silk Road. For nearly 2,000 years, traders used this 4,000-mile network linking the Far East with Europe to exchange goods, culture and, in the case of the Silk Road disease, genes. National Institutes of Health researchers and their Turkish and Japanese collaborators published their findings in the Jan. 6, 2013, advance online issue of Nature Genetics.

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Posted: February 13, 2015

Last updated: February 13, 2015