Science & Research

Pond-dwelling powerhouse’s genome points to its biofuel potential

HudsonAlpha’s Jeremy Schmutz a key contributor to milestone discovery

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that’s been known to drive people daffy. It’s one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it’s also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant’s potential as a biofuel source a big boost. In a paper published February 19, 2014 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Rutgers University, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and several other facilities detailed the complete genome of S. polyrhiza and analyzed it in comparison to several other plants, including rice and tomatoes.

Registration opens for HudsonAlpha-Science’s 2014 Conference on ImmunoGenomics

International conference brings together preeminent leaders and thinkers at the intersection of genomics and immunology

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 14 — Registration opens today for the HudsonAlpha-Science 2014 Conference on ImmunoGenomics, to be held Sept. 29–Oct. 1 on the HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus in Huntsville, Ala. 

The event offers a dynamic program covering the major themes of this emerging scientific field.  ImmunoGenomics sits at the heart of the movement toward ‘personalized’ medicine and the use of DNA sequencing to improve disease diagnosis and treatment.  More information, including registration and sponsorships, can be found at the event site:

New method developed for ranking disease-causal mutations within whole genome sequences

Approach distills vast amounts of data into a single score

Seattle, Wash. and Huntsville, Ala.—Researchers from the University of Washington and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have developed a new method for organizing and prioritizing genetic data. The Combined Annotation–Dependent Depletion, or CADD, method will assist scientists in their search for disease-causing mutation events in human genomes.
The new method is the subject of a paper titled “A general framework for estimating the relative pathogenicity of human genetic variants,” published in Nature Genetics.

CFDRC-developed SynVivo® recognized among “Top 10 Innovations of 2013” by The Scientist

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. December 4, 2013 – CFD Research Corporation-developed SynVivo® microfluidic cell-based assay platform has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 Innovations of 2013" by The Scientist magazine. SynVivo enables faster, more efficient drug development by combining the control of in vitro testing with the realism of in vivo studies. 

HudsonAlpha, Science magazine to host Immunogenomics 2014

HudsonAlpha is excited to partner with Science magazine to host Immunogenomics 2014, an international and interdisciplinary conference that will bring together preeminent leaders and thinkers at the intersection of genomics and immunology. Scheduled for Sept. 29–Oct. 2, 2014, the conference will feature invited talks on topics including (but not limited to) immune regulation, susceptibility and resistance to infectious diseases, systems biology, auto-immunity, inflammation, functional genomics, and bioinformatics.

Basic research yields knowledge of transcription factor binding sites

New, robust methodology is side benefit

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --Whether or not a gene is expressed, that is, whether it is turned on or turned off, is in part controlled by a group of proteins called transcription factors. Scientists in the Myers lab at the HudsonAlpha Institute recently published results of a basic research project undertaken to better understand mechanisms that determine cell type-specific transcription factor binding.

HudsonAlpha sequencing 500 trio exomes to elucidate rare genetic disorders under CSER grant

News Outlet: 
Genome Web Clinical Sequencing News
Date published: 
September 18, 2013

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has embarked on a research project to analyze the genomes of 500 children with unexplained genetic disorders and their parents in order to provide at least some families with a molecular diagnosis.

Recap of Rocket City Science Cafe featuring Jian Han, M.D., Ph.D.

News Outlet: 
The Huntsville Times,
Date published: 
September 3, 2013
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Doctors are probably asking the wrong question when they wonder "what caused your disease," human genetics researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Jian Han said Tuesday night. According to Han, a better question might be, "What is your immune system doing today?"
Han, a research scientist at theHudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and founder of several private companies, explained his theory of disease diagnosis to scientifically curious locals attending the second monthly meeting of Huntsville's new Rocket City Science Café.

HudsonAlpha and UAB researchers team to identify lupus disease pathways

Study of the epigenome searches for disease triggers

Using genome-wide analyses, researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology along with clinical and research partners at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have released the largest published study that examines epigenetic risk pathways for lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs primarily in women and is known to have both genetic and epigenetic causes. The disease may affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood and kidneys.

iRepertoire and Sequenta join forces on blood cancer testing

News Outlet: 
Business Wire
Date published: 
August 7, 2013
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Sequenta and iRepertoire announced today that Sequenta has gained exclusive rights to the iRepertoire intellectual property on novel methods of immune cell sequencing for minimal residual disease (MRD) testing. This intellectual property complements Sequenta’s existing patents on MRD, including its proprietary LymphoSIGHT™ technology. The agreement reinforces Sequenta’s patent portfolio, which strengthens Sequenta’s ability to provide future products and new features and solidifies the company’s position as the MRD market leader.
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