MAY 09, 2018 11:16 AM PDT

Machine Learning Builds a Database of Obesity Variants

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

A new partnership has been created between the genomics data search company Genomenon and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, which aims to create and manufacture therapies that can treat rare disorders that cause obesity. The team has aimed to establish a database that compiles genetic mutations that have been linked, by published research studies, with the development of obesity. The hope is that drug development can be accelerated with this new tool.

DNA (green) residing in fluid outside of cells' main nuclei. / Credit: Wenjing Wu/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Nature

Genomenon has utilized the Mastermind Genomic Search Engine so that genes and variants that have been associated with obesity are easily searchable. An evidence-based method will be employed to ensure the integrity of the findings; only clinically relevant genes and variants, as well as the studies that identified them, will be included. Rhythm can then learn more about how genetic factors influence obesity, and how they might be manipulated to combat it. 

"We are combining computational variant analysis and population studies with the published scientific evidence identified and collated by Genomenon to create a knowledge base on the molecular genetics related to obesity,” said Lex Van der Ploeg, Chief Scientific Officer of Rhythm. "The evidence provided by Genomenon’s advanced machine learning tools and genomic search database may help identify patients who might be appropriate for treatment with therapies specifically targeted towards genetic pathways that contribute to obesity.”

Mastermind will be the first genomic search engine that combines genetic data with evidence obtained in the laboratory and reported in peer-reviewed literature. Genomenon used machine learning and Genomic Language Processing that can sift through articles to find relevant information; the bioinformaticians harvested information about mutations that cause disease from millions of research articles. A team of scientists at Genomenon then reviewed the work.

The result was a database of biomarkers, including over 10,000 mutations from 120 genes that have been connected with obesity. It took less than 60 days to compile the information, which includes the citations for every one of the mutations. Machine learning was thus able to quickly complete a task that takes a person about a year to do.

“This is an exciting demonstration on how genomic language processing and machine learning can drive important advances in drug development,” said Mike Klein, CEO of Genomenon. “We’re thrilled to be working with Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and look forward to our ongoing work together.”

You can find out more about how to use Mastermind from the video, produced by Genomenon.

Source: Genomenon

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
SEP 03, 2018
Microbiology
SEP 03, 2018
A Cell Phone for the Microbiome
This work is a step toward bioengineering the microbes in the gut for improved human health....
SEP 17, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
SEP 17, 2018
Study of Over a Million People Reveals New Hypertension Genes
After assessing data from over one million patients, a team of scientists have found 500 new genes linked to blood pressure....
OCT 14, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 14, 2018
A Gene That can Make Light Touch Feel Painful
Anyone that has had a sunburn knows that even a light brush against the skin, like that from putting on clothes, can become excruciating....
OCT 22, 2018
Videos
OCT 22, 2018
Are GMOs Safe?
While consumers may have valid ethical concerns about GMOs, 30 years of research says they are safe to eat....
NOV 05, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 05, 2018
Trying to Repair Age-related Gut Damage
As we age, our intestinal lining gets more permeable; sometimes called leaky gut, and it can wreak havoc on our bodies....
NOV 12, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
NOV 12, 2018
A New Look at Messenger RNA
Researchers have discovered that longstanding textbook knowledge about an important molecule called mRNA is probably incorrect....
Loading Comments...