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Researchers Use HelixTree ® in First Successful Whole Genome Association Study Published for a Psychiatric Illness


Bozeman, MT (March 28, 2007)
- Golden Helix, Inc. announced today that psychiatric researchers used HelixTree ® Genetics Analysis Software to uncover evidence of a novel genetic locus appearing to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. The study is the first successful whole-genome association study for a psychiatric illness. Results of the study were published in the high-impact journal, Molecular Psychiatry. (View Article Here)

Schizophrenia is a complex disease believed to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genes of modest effect. Led by psychologist Todd Lencz, Ph.D. and psychiatrist Anil K. Malhotra, M.D. at The Zucker Hillside Hospital (ZHH) campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, this case-control whole-genome study of roughly 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) revealed that a novel locus (rs4129148) near the CSF2RA gene was significantly associated with schizophrenia.

Whole-genome association is a cutting-edge technology for uncovering genes of modest effect. However, the analysis involved presents many challenges and is often daunting and difficult to perform.

"HelixTree was indispensable for the successful completion of this study," according to Dr. Lencz. "From convenient data storage to quality control testing and statistical analysis, coupled with the absolute speed of the software, HelixTree provided an integrated and comprehensive pipeline for working with whole-genome data."

"HelixTree was designed to be used not only by statistical geneticists but also other life science researchers such as Dr. Lencz who are experts in their respective fields," stated Christophe Lambert, Ph.D., President and CEO of Golden Helix. "Dr. Lencz's study is proof that equipped with the right tools and support, dedicated researchers from a variety of backgrounds can successfully perform whole-genome association studies."

About HelixTree ® Genetics Analysis Software
HelixTree is a user-friendly application that incorporates a comprehensive set of SNP analysis tools for population and family-based association studies. The software employs novel algorithms and sparse data storage technology. This optimizes computational speed and memory usage, which enables researchers to efficiently perform whole-genome analysis with conventional computing hardware. It also offers advanced recursive partitioning technology designed to uncover hidden patterns in large complex data sets. This has proven to be particularly useful for elucidating gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. HelixTree was initially developed in 1999 and has now been cited in nearly 100 peer reviewed articles.

About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, and part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is among the top six percent of all institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health. Building on its strengths in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, genomics and human genetics, immunology and inflammation, and oncology and cell biology, its goal is to understand the biological processes that underlie various diseases and translate this knowledge into new tools for diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.

About Golden Helix
Founded in 1998, Golden Helix has become the global leader in SNP analysis and genetic association software. The company's products are used by hundreds of researchers at the world's top pharmaceutical, biotech and non-profit research organizations, and have been cited in over 100 peer reviewed publications that detail ground-breaking research uncovering the genetic and environmental basis of disease. Golden Helix is committed to Accelerating the Quest for Significance.  For more information, please visit www.goldenhelix.com

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Media Contact:
Josh Forsythe
Director of Marketing
Golden Helix, Inc.
406-585-8137 x202
jlforsythe[at]goldenhelix.com

 

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