SGRF periodically organizes various workshops and seminars to facilitate learning. We have conducted bioinformatics workshops and special seminar covering various scientific topics. We also support eminent speakers to visit educational institutions to deliver lectures.
2012 - Genomics of Diabetes Symposium held on 17th Aug 2012 at MDRF, Siruseri, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Featured Dr. Andrew Peterson, Genentech Inc., USA*
2011 - There was a symposium in Bangalore with People Health - Featured speakers Dr. Stephan Schuster, Penn State USA and Dr. Sujatha, MediScan, Chennai India.
2010 - Seminar on "The Future of Personalized Genomics in Medicine”. Dec 31st, 2010. Featured speaker - Dr. Sekar Seshagiri, Genentech Inc, USA*
Mitochondria are cellular organelle important for energy production. Although most DNA, the genetic material, is organized as chromosomes within the nucleus, mitochondria also have their own DNA. This genetic material known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA, in humans, is ~16,500 base pairs (DNA building blocks) long. This is a small fraction compared to the 3 billion base pairs present in the human nuclear DNA.
Mitochondria are inherited maternally and hence mitochondrial DNA sequence can be used to trace maternal lineage. Besides this, human mitochondrial DNA sequence has been used to track human migration. As humans migrated out of Africa, mitochondrial DNA over time has accumulated mutations. By comparing mitochondrial sequence differences (mutated positions) between individuals from various parts of the world one can track the migratory path.
Comparing mitochondrial sequence from an individual to a reference mitochondrial sequence one can identify the differences. Individuals with the same set of difference, compared to the reference, belong to the same haplogroup. Each haplogroup is represented as a major branch point on the mitochondrial phylogenetic tree, which is constructed to depict the evolutionary relationships among haplogroups. Understanding the evolutionary path of the mitochondrial DNA has helped population geneticists trace the matrilineal inheritance of modern humans dating back to our origins in Africa and the subsequent spread across the globe. The letter names of the haplogroups run from A to Z. As haplogroups were named in the order of their discovery, they do not reflect the actual genetic relationships.
At the 2013 NGBT conference we demonstrated the state of sequencing technologies by sequencing the mitochondrial genome from participants at the meeting in real time during the course of the meeting. We obtained cheek swabs from 80 participants after obtaining signed consent to sequence and analyze their mitochondrial genome. Sequencing, processing and analysis of samples was done over three days and the haplogroup results were provide to each of the participant before the end of the meeting.
Activity time line
Day 1: Nov 14th, 2013 - sample collected, DNA prepared, mitochondrial genome amplified and library prep initiated
Day 2: Nov 15th, 2013 - library sequenced
Day 3: Nov 16th, 2013 - data analysis completed and results announced at the meeting