The Gene Hunt and Developmental Disabilities

17 April 2012 Today’s issue of nature includes and article titled “Gene hunt is on for mental disability: Pioneering clinical genome-sequencing projects focus on patients with developmental delay.” It describes some of the relatively recent  developments in the widespread use of partial- and full-genome testing for developmental disability syndromes. According to the article:

Joining the hunt is a UK-based programme called Deciphering Developmental Disorders, which expects to sequence 1,000 exomes [sections of DNA that are known to cause actual attributes in individuals] by the year’s end, with an ultimate goal of diagnosing up to 12,000 British children with developmental delay. A Canadian project called FORGE (finding of rare disease genes) aims to sequence children and families with 200 different disorders this year. And in the United States, the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, recently funded three Mendelian Disorders Sequencing Centers that will apply genome sequencing to diagnosing thousands of patients with a wider range of rare diseases, including intellectual disability and developmental delay.

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