Improved macaque genome enhances biomedical utility

December 17, 2020

Using advanced sequencing technology, researchers present a new, improved and far more complete reference genome for the rhesus macaque - one of the most important animal models in biomedical research. The expanded macaque reference genome may help in the discovery and development of new, noninvasive models of human disease and in evaluating the effect of genetic variation on experimental treatments prior to human trials. The rhesus macaque is the most widely studied nonhuman primate in biomedical research and its genome has played an essential role in expanding our understanding of AIDS, the development of Ebola vaccines, and in discovering novel genetic therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism. However, since the presentation of the first whole-genome analysis of the rhesus macaque genome in 2007, genomic technology has improved significantly. Using new techniques and recent advances in sequencing technologies, Wesley Warren and colleagues assembled an updated reference genome for the macaque. The authors report that the new and improved macaque assembly expands the sequence continuity by 120-fold over the previous Indian rhesus macaque assembly and closes more than 99.7% of the gaps it contained. Warren et al. analyzed whole-genome sequencing data from 853 captive rhesus macaques and compared the results to the new reference genome to identify the genetic variability. The findings revealed thousands of naturally occurring gene variants and mutations, including those associated with human autism and developmental delay.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Autism Articles from Brightsurf:

Autism-cholesterol link
Study identifies genetic link between cholesterol alterations and autism.

National Autism Indicators Report: the connection between autism and financial hardship
A.J. Drexel Autism Institute released the 2020 National Autism Indicators Report highlighting the financial challenges facing households of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including higher levels of poverty, material hardship and medical expenses.

Autism risk estimated at 3 to 5% for children whose parents have a sibling with autism
Roughly 3 to 5% of children with an aunt or uncle with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can also be expected to have ASD, compared to about 1.5% of children in the general population, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Adulthood with autism
The independence that comes with growing up can be scary for any teenager, but for young adults with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers, the transition from adolescence to adulthood can seem particularly daunting.

Brain protein mutation from child with autism causes autism-like behavioral change in mice
A de novo gene mutation that encodes a brain protein in a child with autism has been placed into the brains of mice.

Autism and theory of mind
Theory of mind, or the ability to represent other people's minds as distinct from one's own, can be difficult for people with autism.

Potential biomarker for autism
A study of young children with autism spectrum disorder published in JNeurosci reveals altered brain waves compared to typically developing children during a motor control task.

Autism often associated with multiple new mutations
Most autism cases are in families with no previous history of the disorder.

State laws requiring autism coverage by private insurers led to increases in autism care
A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that the enactment of state laws mandating coverage of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was followed by sizable increases in insurer-covered ASD care and associated spending.

Autism's gender patterns
Having one child with autism is a well-known risk factor for having another one with the same disorder, but whether and how a sibling's gender influences this risk has remained largely unknown.

Read More: Autism News and Autism Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to