Zeitgeist of New Clinical Trials Database

The pharmaceutical industry has officially launched their new clinical trials portal which tracks clinical trials globally.  I plugged some key genetics terms into the "Ongoing Trials" search feature to get a quick zeitgeist of the world of clinical trials.  Here is what I found:

search term # results
the 45914
***** *****
genetics 2240
genetic 1570
gene 1446
DNA 845
RNA 775
genes 745
"family history" 573
chromosome 339
inherited 266
genome 150
genomic 105
genomics 25
"genome sequences" 21
"susceptibility gene" 15
genomes 5
"whole genome" 4
"genetic map" 2
"whole human genome" 1
"genome sequence" 0
***** *****
P450 155
titration 126
torsades 62
CYP 60
pharmacogenetics 40
pharmacogenomics 28
pharmacogenetic 25
pharmacogenomic 14
2D6 9
***** *****
mutations 504
mutation 376
genotype 342
polymorphism 135
microarray 60
haplotype 59
karyotype 57
polymorphic 40
genotyped 29
SNPs 34
SNP 17
"sequence variation" 7
centimorgan 2
"gene copy number" 2

Follow-Up: Conviction using DNA Spit Kit

"The warden had to wait with salvia dripping from
his glasses and face for around four minutes until a team leader from
NCP, arrived with a [DNA] ’spit kit’.

This past year in the UK, traffic wardens and train drivers have been armed with DNA spit kits in reaction to the frequency with which these employees get spat upon by disgruntled members of the public.  The first conviction was handed down this week in Manchester where a DNA spit kit was used to gather evidence (dripping off the glasses of a traffic warden described above).

History of Sequencing Technology

A nice article on the history of the automated DNA sequencing machine in a recent issue of The Scientist.  The article goes back through some of the major technological advancements, including the switch from radioactive nucleotides to fluorescently-labeled nucleotides and the switch from slab gels to capillary electrophoresis.  Some interesting factoids are sprinkled throughout, such as this one:

"Applied Biosystem’s first instrument contained 16 lanes and could sequence up to 6,400 bases in 24 hours; the latest generation technology, the model 3730, with appropriate upstream automation, can spell out up to 2 million base pairs in the same time period, and at half the cost of the earlier model 3700."

The article includes an excellent interactive graphic explaining the different components of an capillary-based automated genome sequencing machine.

Alison McCook, The Automated DNA Sequencer, The Scientist Aug 29th, 2005. (sorry subscription only)

(Thanks to Lei of the Genetics and Public Health Blog for the pointer)