Gathering MSSNG Insights on Autism
Today, Nature Neuroscience published results from the newest study from the Autism Speaks MSSNG project, which is the world’s largest autism genome sequencing program. Verily and Google Cloud Platform are supporting MSSNG by creating solutions for secure storage, processing, exploration and sharing of these massive and complex biological datasets. You can read more about our collaboration here.
In today’s publication, the research team led by The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG) at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, reports the sequencing of 5,205 samples from families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) resulting in identification of 18 new candidate genes, bringing the total number of autism-linked genes discovered through MSSNG to 61. Importantly, these 61 autism-linked gene changes also include several that increase risk for additional medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. This illustrates how whole genome testing of individuals with autism can help guide their personalized medical care.
Part of Verily’s mission to make the world’s health data useful, is to better understand health-related disorders so that we can have a meaningful impact caring for individuals holistically rather than as a patient with a particular condition. We want to help people to live longer and healthier lives by better understanding how conditions impact people at an individual level in order to develop personalized care tools and platforms.
To make its data as useful and accessible as possible, MSSNG is available to all qualified researchers free of charge along with analytics tools. In fact, nearly 100 scientists from academia and industry have received access to the data and are applying their ideas to unlock the value it contains.
There are another 2,000 sequenced genomes already in the queue for upload to the online MSSNG database. We’re excited to see what other insights are unlocked as we move forward!