Autism Speaks Uses Genome Database to Drive Research
Gregory Gerkens is an accomplished education professional who has served as special education teacher and assistant principal. To give back, Greg Gerkens has contributed to multiple charity organizations, including Autism Speaks. This organization strives to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorder while also fueling research about causes and treatment.

One of the organization’s most important initiatives is the MSSNG project, which is the largest program in the world for autism genome sequencing. Recently, this project uncovered 18 gene variations that could increase risk of autism after analyzing 5,205 whole genomes from families that have autistic members. 

For the last decade, researchers have been intensely focused on uncovering genetic reasons for autism, so it is notable that new genes are still being discovered. Each new discovery moves scientists closer to understanding the cause of autism. Altogether, MSSNG has identified 61 genetic variations related to autism, as well as the medical complications that often come with the disorder. 

What distinguishes MSSNG from other genetic analysis programs is that it looks at all three billion DNA base pairs that comprise each genome. Most genetic programs look primarily at the one percent of DNA that actually contributes to genetics, but the whole story may be larger than scientists initially thought. Autism Speaks remains a pioneer in genetic analysis.
Autism Speaks Uses Genome Database to Drive Research
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Autism Speaks Uses Genome Database to Drive Research

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