ENCODE Project Publishes Massive Epigenetics Study
On September 6th, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project released an enormous volume of epigenetics data and analysis for the human genome, spanning more than thirty papers in Nature, Genome Biology, and Genome Research. These new and exciting studies reveal that more than 80% of the human genome is either transcribed or bound up in higher-order chromatin. Major research findings from the release include:
- The discovery of hundreds of new long non-coding RNAs and thousands of novel transcription start sites, many of which reside in exons or 3' UTRs.
- A mathematical model that predicts gene activity on the basis of chromatin marks, including transcription factors and histone modifications.
- The segmentation of the genome into hundreds of thousands of distinct chromatin regions, classified by function and tissue-specific activity.
- The detection of asymmetric, directional patterns of chromatin at binding sites for 87 sequence-specific transcription factors across multiple cell types.
- The enrichment of genome-wide association study (GWAS) genomic disease variants (SNPs) with ENCODE-annotated regulatory elements.
- Several new statistical and computational techniques for analyzing genome-wide data sets, particularly chIP-Seq data, as well as experimental standards.
These new data and methods represent an immense contribution to the field, and will greatly benefit any future study of the human genome.
The published papers can be found at Nature's website:
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