186 research outputs found

    PediDraw: A web-based tool for drawing a pedigree in genetic counseling

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Drawing a pedigree is a prerequisite in genetic counseling. In medical records, a pedigree is useful to document the family history of the patient. Drawing a pedigree is also necessary in collecting genetic resources for medical research such as positional cloning. Currently, most pedigrees are drawn by hand or by drawing software. Due to the special requirements in a standardized pedigree, generating a pedigree by these methods is usually time-consuming and requires professionals. This limits the usage of a pedigree as demanded in remote diagnosis or online counseling from the counselees to send an electronic pedigree.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We developed an online pedigree drawing tool, PediDraw, which enables users to generate pedigrees after inputting the family information step-by-step on web. It outputs a pedigree or table to present a family history to the counselors.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>PediDraw is a user-friendly web-based drawing tool. It is accessible via Internet.</p

    Oceanic inside corner detachments of the Limassol Forest area, Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus

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    Flat-lying extensional detachment faults have been imaged in the inside corner regions of ridge-transform intersections on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Exposed detachment surfaces are 10 km or more across, and are corrugated in the direction of spreading, as are continental detachments. Beneath the detachments lie core complexes of peridotite and gabbro; these are overlain by blocks of crustal material. We argue here that similar detachments are an essential component of the Limassol Forest area of the Troodos ophiolite in Cyprus, which lies south of the Arakapas Fault zone, previously recognized as a palaco-transform fault, and here interpreted as a transform fault that evolved into a fracture zone. In the Limassol Forest, core complexes of mantle peridotite can be shown to have been exposed at the sea floor, or to have been covered by overlapping crustal blocks, separated from the peridotite core and from each other by low-angle extensional faults. The extension can be shown to have occured shortly after crustal construction, and the already extended terrain was then intruded by swarms of dykes and plutons. We interpret these relations as arising when crust is constructed in an inside corner area, extended by detachment faulting, deformed further during slip along the transform, and then intruded by new magma as it passes the second spreading centre. The structurally deeper parts of the crustal blocks that overlie the detachment lie broadly towards the west, indicating that the spreading axis lay in that direction. The ophiolite north of the transform is much less extended, and we interpret this as a section of outside corner crust. In this interpretation, the Troodos ophiolite formed to the east (in its current orientation) of a ridge-transform-ridge intersection, in which the transform had a dextral offset and sinistral slip. The part of the ophiolite that forms the Limassol Forest was produced at the western inside corner, and spread eastward until it passed the second spreading axis, at which point the ophiolite north of the Arakapas Fault was created and welded to the Limassol Forest when the transform became a fracture zone.published_or_final_versio

    SPSmart: adapting population based SNP genotype databases for fast and comprehensive web access

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In the last five years large online resources of human variability have appeared, notably HapMap, Perlegen and the CEPH foundation. These databases of genotypes with population information act as catalogues of human diversity, and are widely used as reference sources for population genetics studies. Although many useful conclusions may be extracted by querying databases individually, the lack of flexibility for combining data from within and between each database does not allow the calculation of key population variability statistics.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We have developed a novel tool for accessing and combining large-scale genomic databases of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in widespread use in human population genetics: SPSmart (SNPs for Population Studies). A fast pipeline creates and maintains a data mart from the most commonly accessed databases of genotypes containing population information: data is mined, summarized into the standard statistical reference indices, and stored into a relational database that currently handles as many as 4 × 10<sup>9 </sup>genotypes and that can be easily extended to new database initiatives. We have also built a web interface to the data mart that allows the browsing of underlying data indexed by population and the combining of populations, allowing intuitive and straightforward comparison of population groups. All the information served is optimized for web display, and most of the computations are already pre-processed in the data mart to speed up the data browsing and any computational treatment requested.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>In practice, SPSmart allows populations to be combined into user-defined groups, while multiple databases can be accessed and compared in a few simple steps from a single query. It performs the queries rapidly and gives straightforward graphical summaries of SNP population variability through visual inspection of allele frequencies outlined in standard pie-chart format. In addition, full numerical description of the data is output in statistical results panels that include common population genetics metrics such as heterozygosity, <it>Fst </it>and <it>In</it>.</p

    PCA-based population structure inference with generic clustering algorithms

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Handling genotype data typed at hundreds of thousands of loci is very time-consuming and it is no exception for population structure inference. Therefore, we propose to apply PCA to the genotype data of a population, select the significant principal components using the Tracy-Widom distribution, and assign the individuals to one or more subpopulations using generic clustering algorithms.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We investigated K-means, soft K-means and spectral clustering and made comparison to STRUCTURE, a model-based algorithm specifically designed for population structure inference. Moreover, we investigated methods for predicting the number of subpopulations in a population. The results on four simulated datasets and two real datasets indicate that our approach performs comparably well to STRUCTURE. For the simulated datasets, STRUCTURE and soft K-means with BIC produced identical predictions on the number of subpopulations. We also showed that, for real dataset, BIC is a better index than likelihood in predicting the number of subpopulations.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Our approach has the advantage of being fast and scalable, while STRUCTURE is very time-consuming because of the nature of MCMC in parameter estimation. Therefore, we suggest choosing the proper algorithm based on the application of population structure inference.</p

    Recombination dynamics of a human Y-chromosomal palindrome:rapid GC-biased gene conversion, multi-kilobase conversion tracts, and rare inversions

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    The male-specific region of the human Y chromosome (MSY) includes eight large inverted repeats (palindromes) in which arm-to-arm similarity exceeds 99.9%, due to gene conversion activity. Here, we studied one of these palindromes, P6, in order to illuminate the dynamics of the gene conversion process. We genotyped ten paralogous sequence variants (PSVs) within the arms of P6 in 378 Y chromosomes whose evolutionary relationships within the SNP-defined Y phylogeny are known. This allowed the identification of 146 historical gene conversion events involving individual PSVs, occurring at a rate of 2.9-8.4×10(-4) events per generation. A consideration of the nature of nucleotide change and the ancestral state of each PSV showed that the conversion process was significantly biased towards the fixation of G or C nucleotides (GC-biased), and also towards the ancestral state. Determination of haplotypes by long-PCR allowed likely co-conversion of PSVs to be identified, and suggested that conversion tract lengths are large, with a mean of 2068 bp, and a maximum in excess of 9 kb. Despite the frequent formation of recombination intermediates implied by the rapid observed gene conversion activity, resolution via crossover is rare: only three inversions within P6 were detected in the sample. An analysis of chimpanzee and gorilla P6 orthologs showed that the ancestral state bias has existed in all three species, and comparison of human and chimpanzee sequences with the gorilla outgroup confirmed that GC bias of the conversion process has apparently been active in both the human and chimpanzee lineages

    Variations of the Candidate SEZ6L2 Gene on Chromosome 16p11.2 in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders and in Human Populations

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    Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of severe childhood neurodevelopmental disorders with still unknown etiology. One of the most frequently reported associations is the presence of recurrent de novo or inherited microdeletions and microduplications on chromosome 16p11.2. The analysis of rare variations of 8 candidate genes among the 27 genes located in this region suggested SEZ6L2 as a compelling candidate. Methodology/Principal Findings: We further explored the role of SEZ6L2 variations by screening its coding part in a group of 452 individuals, including 170 patients with ASD and 282 individuals from different ethnic backgrounds of the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP), complementing the previously reported screening. We detected 7 previously unidentified non-synonymous variations of SEZ6L2 in ASD patients. We also identified 6 non-synonymous variations present only in HGDP. When we merged our results with the previously published, no enrichment of non-synonymous variation in SEZ6L2 was observed in the ASD group compared with controls. Conclusions/Significance: Our results provide an extensive ascertainment of the genetic variability of SEZ6L2 in human populations and do not support a major role for SEZ6L2 sequence variations in the susceptibility to ASD

    Extended Haplotypes in the Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Receptor Gene (GHRHR) Are Associated with Normal Variation in Height

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    Mutations in the gene for growth hormone releasing hormone receptor (GHRHR) cause isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) but this gene has not been found to affect normal variation in height. We performed a whole genome linkage analysis for height in a population from northern Sweden and identified a region on chromosome 7 with a lod-score of 4.7. The GHRHR gene is located in this region and typing of tagSNPs identified a haplotype that is associated with height (p = 0.00077) in the original study population. Analysis of a sample from an independent population from the most northern part of Sweden also showed an association with height (p = 0.0039) but with another haplotype in the GHRHR gene. Both haplotypes span the 3′ part of the GHRHR gene, including the region in which most of the mutations in IGHD have been located. The effect size of these haplotypes are larger than that of any gene previously associated with height, which indicates that GHRHR might be one of the most important genes so far identified affecting normal variation in human height

    Geographical Affinities of the HapMap Samples

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    The HapMap samples were collected for medical-genetic studies, but are also widely used in population-genetic and evolutionary investigations. Yet the ascertainment of the samples differs from most population-genetic studies which collect individuals who live in the same local region as their ancestors. What effects could this non-standard ascertainment have on the interpretation of HapMap results?We compared the HapMap samples with more conventionally-ascertained samples used in population- and forensic-genetic studies, including the HGDP-CEPH panel, making use of published genome-wide autosomal SNP data and Y-STR haplotypes, as well as producing new Y-STR data. We found that the HapMap samples were representative of their broad geographical regions of ancestry according to all tests applied. The YRI and JPT were indistinguishable from independent samples of Yoruba and Japanese in all ways investigated. However, both the CHB and the CEU were distinguishable from all other HGDP-CEPH populations with autosomal markers, and both showed Y-STR similarities to unusually large numbers of populations, perhaps reflecting their admixed origins.The CHB and JPT are readily distinguished from one another with both autosomal and Y-chromosomal markers, and results obtained after combining them into a single sample should be interpreted with caution. The CEU are better described as being of Western European ancestry than of Northern European ancestry as often reported. Both the CHB and CEU show subtle but detectable signs of admixture. Thus the YRI and JPT samples are well-suited to standard population-genetic studies, but the CHB and CEU less so

    Analytic philosophy for biomedical research: the imperative of applying yesterday's timeless messages to today's impasses

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    The mantra that "the best way to predict the future is to invent it" (attributed to the computer scientist Alan Kay) exemplifies some of the expectations from the technical and innovative sides of biomedical research at present. However, for technical advancements to make real impacts both on patient health and genuine scientific understanding, quite a number of lingering challenges facing the entire spectrum from protein biology all the way to randomized controlled trials should start to be overcome. The proposal in this chapter is that philosophy is essential in this process. By reviewing select examples from the history of science and philosophy, disciplines which were indistinguishable until the mid-nineteenth century, I argue that progress toward the many impasses in biomedicine can be achieved by emphasizing theoretical work (in the true sense of the word 'theory') as a vital foundation for experimental biology. Furthermore, a philosophical biology program that could provide a framework for theoretical investigations is outlined
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