|By ACN Newswire||
|January 9, 2014 12:12 AM EST||
A*STAR-led international consortium completely decodes the first shark-family
Singapore, Jan 9, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) led an international team of researchers that sequenced and analysed the genome of the elephant shark. A comparison of the elephant shark genome with human and other vertebrate genomes revealed why the skeleton of sharks consists entirely of cartilage instead of bones. The findings carry potential implications for human bone disease treatment. The analysis also sheds new light on the origin of the adaptive immune system. The findings of this study are published in the 9 January, 2014 issue of the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.
The collaboration with 12 international institutions(1) was headed by IMCB's Prof Byrappa Venkatesh, who is also a chairperson of the "Genome10K" Project. The project was largely funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, the world's foremost centre for the support of biomedical research.
Analysis of the elephant shark genome
Elephant shark is a member of cartilaginous fishes, which are the oldest living group of jawed vertebrates that diverged from bony vertebrates about 450 million years ago. Cartilaginous fishes include sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras. Unlike humans and other bony vertebrates, cartilaginous fishes are unable to replace cartilage with bone. Among over 1,200 species of cartilaginous fishes, the elephant shark was sequenced due to its compact genome size. Analysis of the elephant shark genome identified a family of genes absent in elephant shark but present in all bony vertebrates. A significant reduction in bone formation was observed when a member of this gene family was knocked out in zebrafish, thereby indicating the importance of this gene family in bone formation. The finding has important implications towards our understanding of bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis and hence the development of effective therapeutic strategies for them.
An unexpected finding was that elephant shark appears to lack special types of immune cells previously considered essential for defence against viral/bacterial infections and preventing autoimmune reactions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis(2). Despite this seemingly primitive organization of the immune system, sharks exhibit robust immune defences and are long-lived. By challenging long-held notions, this discovery has opened up a new avenue towards the development of nonintuitive strategies to shape the immune functions of humans.
The study also found that the elephant shark genome is the slowest evolving among all vertebrates, including the coelacanth, popularly known as a "living fossil", whose genes were recently shown to be evolving slower than those of other bony vertebrates(3). Furthermore, large blocks of elephant shark and human chromosomes were found to be highly similar. The markedly slow evolution of the elephant shark genome and its similarity to the human genome, further underscores its importance as a reference genome for comparative genomic studies aimed at better understanding of the human genome.
Prof Byrappa Venkatesh, Research Director at IMCB, and lead author of the Nature paper added, "The slow evolving genome of the elephant shark is probably the best proxy for the ancestor of all jawed-vertebrates that became extinct a long time ago. It is a cornerstone for improving our understanding of the development and physiology of human and other vertebrates as illustrated by our analysis of the skeletal system and immune system genes."
Dr Wes Warren, senior author of the Nature paper commented, "Although cartilaginous vertebrates and bony vertebrates diverged about 450 million years ago, with the elephant shark genome in hand, we can now begin to identify key genetic adaptations in the evolutionary tree."
Prof Hong Wanjin, Executive Director of IMCB, said, "Over the years, IMCB has carried out several remarkable genomic projects and we are excited to showcase yet another milestone. Not only has our research team sequenced the first shark-family member genome, they have also uncovered many insights significant to the field of genomic and medical research through the genome analysis."
Prof Sir David Lane, Chief Scientist at A*STAR, said, "We are delighted that a Singapore laboratory conceived and led a major international genome project. The international research grant from NIH, USA is a testimony of Singapore's world-class standard in genomics research."
(1) 1) Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Singapore; 2) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore; 3) Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Germany; 4) University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA; 5) Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan; 6) Molecular Engineering Laboratory, A*STAR, Singapore; 7) San Francisco State University, San Francisco, USA; 8) Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Canada; 9) Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Barcelona, Spain; 10) Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats, Barcelona, Spain; 11) Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, University of California Santa Cruz, USA; 12) The Genome Institute at Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
(2) Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which results in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs.
(3) Amemiya, CT. et al. 2013 The African coelacanth genome provides insights into tetrapod evolution. Nature 496: 311-316.
Notes for Editor:
The research findings described in this media release can be found in the 9 January, 2014 issue of Nature Journal, under the title, "Elephant shark genome provides unique insights into gnathostome evolution" by Byrappa Venkatesh,1,2, Alison P. Lee,1, Vydianathan Ravi,1, Ashish K. Maurya,3, Michelle M. Lian,1, Jeremy B. Swann,4, Yuko Ohta,5, Martin F. Flajnik,5, Yoichi Sutoh,6, Masanori Kasahara,6, Shawn Hoon,7, Vamshidhar Gangu,7, Scott W. Roy,8, Manuel Irimia,9, Vladimir Korzh,10, Igor Kondrychyn,10, Zhi Wei Lim,1, Boon-Hui Tay,1, Sumanty Tohari,1, Kiat Whye Kong,7, Shufen Ho,7, Belen Lorente-Galdos,11,12, Javier Quilez,11,12, Tomas Marques-Bonet,11,12, Brian J. Raney,13, Philip W. Ingham,3, Alice Tay,1, LaDeana W. Hillier,14, Patrick Minx,14, Thomas Boehm,4, Richard K. Wilson,14, Sydney Brenner,1 & Wesley C. Warren,14.
1. Comparative Genomics Laboratory, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Biopolis, Singapore 138673.
2. Department of Paediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228.
3. Developmental and Biomedical Genetics Laboratory, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Biopolis, Singapore 138673.
4. Department of Developmental Immunology, Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology
and Epigenetics, Stuebeweg 51, 79108 Freiburg, Germany.
5. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201 USA.
6. Department of Pathology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine,
Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.
Biopolis, Singapore 138673.
8. Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA.
9. Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 3E1, Canada.
10. Fish Developmental Biology Laboratory, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Biopolis, Singapore 138673.
11. Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, (UPF-CSIC), PRBB, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
12. Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona,
13. Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, School of Engineering,
University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.
14. The Genome Institute at Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA.
Correspondence should be addressed to Byrappa Venkatesh ([email protected])
Full text of the article can be accessed from
For more information about the elephant shark genome, please visit:
About Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)
The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) was established in 1987 at the National University of Singapore (NUS) before becoming an autonomous research institute (RI) of A*STAR and moving to Biopolis in 2004. IMCB strives to maintain the scientific excellence of PI-driven research and at the same time aims to promote collaborative team-based projects of medical and industrial relevance.
Funded primarily by the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of A*STAR, IMCB's
research activities focus on four major fields: Animal Models of Development and
Disease, Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, Cell Biology in Health and Disease,
and Structural Biology and Drug Discovery. For more information about IMCB, please visit www.imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 20 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs, house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
Tan Yun Yun (Ms) Senior Officer, Corporate Communications Agency for Science, Technology and Research Tel: +65 6826 6273 Email: [email protected]
Copyright 2014 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Aug. 3, 2015 01:07 PM EDT
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
Aug. 3, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 200
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Aug. 3, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 266
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Com...
Aug. 3, 2015 11:48 AM EDT
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 3, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 203
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 3, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 229
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Aug. 3, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 359
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 3, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 184
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Aug. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 681
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Aug. 2, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,135
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 2, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 516
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Aug. 2, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 431
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Aug. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 554
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 482
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 360