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Kaiser Permanente Patients To Participate in the Creation of A Massive Genetic Data Base

Posted Oct 21 2009 10:02pm

The results will be available for scientists to analyze and study, to determine if certain environmental conditions impact the presence of a disease in a certain area for one example.  The electronic medical record information contained in the Kaiser medical records data base will also contribute image valuable information to the study.  The results will be the largest collection of such data of this type in existence.  The article states this will be around 2 years in the making.  BD 

Plans for genetic analyses of 100,000 older Californians--the first time genetic data will be generated for such a large and diverse group--will accelerate research into environmental and genetic causes of disease, researchers say.

"This is a force multiplier with respect to genome-wide association studies," says Cathy Schaefer, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente, a health-care provider based in Oakland, CA, whose patients will be involved. Researchers will be able to study the data and seek insights into the interplay between genes, the environment, and disease, thanks to access to detailed electronic health records, patient surveys, and even records of environmental conditions where the patients live and work.

The effort will make use of existing saliva samples taken from California patients, whose average age is 65. Their DNA will be analyzed for 700,000 genetic variations called single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, using array analysis technology from Affymetrix in Santa Clara, CA. Through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the resulting information will be available to other researchers, along with a trove of patient data including patients' Kaiser Permanente electronic health records, information about the air and water quality in their neighborhoods, and surveys about their lifestyles

Technology Review: Massive Gene Database Planned in California

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