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Blueprint for success in human epigenomics?

Report of a story in the news   |   By Dr Philippa Brice   |   Published 29 September 2011

Sources: Nature News, The Scientist

The largest project to date from the health-research division of the European Commission is to launch next week, aimed at boosting understanding of human epigenomics. 

The importance of epigenomics – non-coding, heritable DNA modifications throughout the genome - in health and disease is becoming increasingly apparent, with multiple research projects underway (see previous news). The International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) was established in 2010 to coordinate the production of reference epigenome maps for healthy humans and those with diseases.  

Now the €30 million new European BLUEPRINT project is set to become another key contributor, with investigators from different European countries aiming to contribute at least 100 new reference epigenomes to the IHEC, which seeks 1000 in total by 2020. Researchers will sequence and map epigenomes from 60 different cell types from healthy humans, and a further 60 plus from blood cancer cell types, as well as lower resolution epigenomes from more healthy individuals.

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