Resource link: NIH Genome Project Sept. 19, 2017 New Release
New toolkit helps nurses use genomics in patient care
By Kiara Palmer
Assistant Public Affairs Specialist, NHGRI
Nurse and doctor discuss health information related to a patient. Image Credit: Getty Images/Asiseeit
Nurses and other health professionals looking to integrate genomics into patient care now have access to an online toolkit with more than 100 resources, part of a new website launched by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Developed with input from clinical educators and administrators, The Method for Introducing a New Competency in Genomics (MINC) website provides resources for nursing leaders at all levels of genomics competency, ranging from basic knowledge about genomics to its practical impact on healthcare systems and policies.
The website addresses the need for healthcare professionals to stay abreast with the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Its resources can help practicing nurses care for patients undergoing genomic testing and treatments, build awareness in their communities, and understand how to prepare their workforce for emerging clinical applications.
“The MINC toolkit is a starting point for healthcare providers who want to promote genomic integration into practice to benefit their patients,” said Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., director of the Division of Policy, Communication and Education at NHGRI. “It was designed based on the efforts of Magnet® hospital nurses whose experiences were used in the design and foundation for the toolkit.”
The toolkit is structured in a question and answer format, allowing users to tailor their interventions based on the resources that will work best for them in their unique clinical setting. A key feature of the toolkit is “Champion Stories”. These video testimonials from health administrators and educators describe how they overcame barriers as they developed the necessary genomics knowledge to offer personalized care to their patients.
MINC offers resources for providers with varying levels of experience, including:
FamilySearch Partners with Social Media App Famicity
FamilySearch announced France-based Famicity.com as its newest partner. Famicity is a free and fun social media app (IOS and Android) and website that offers family members a private social network based on a family tree to collaboratively tell and preserve their family story and capture the stories of children as family life happens and evolves. New users just need to go to Famicity.com to get started for free.
Famicity is an intuitive, app-based tool. It is simple to use, and encourages more communication between family members. Stories, photos, and videos are easily added and conveniently time stamped. It also allows users to give other family members permission to add to a story.
Today, families are spread out geographically and lean heavily on technology like social media to communicate and share family moments. Websites like Facebook aim to bring families closer together; however, these websites can be overwhelming and lack family focus with all the content being posted by a growing subscription of friends. Famicity is private and allows invited family members to focus on sharing and preserving family-focused content.
Created from the beginning as a social media platform, “Famicity understands the needs of FamilySearch.org users and that’s why we’ve reinvented social media for each and every member of a family to bond, grow, and celebrate their lives privately and securely,” said Famicity co-founder Guillaume Languereau. “Famicity members can already create their family tree on their own. This partnership makes it even easier for FamilySearch members to sign up with their account and automatically upload their family tree into Famicity to start an online family reunion in private.”
Personal control of one’s story is important to Famicity. No account holder has access to anyone else’s information, and the user can block others if the need arises.
Famicity offers easy-to-use features:
Home—shared family news and photo albums
Story—personal space for stories and albums
Tree—a family tree in which relatives collaborate
Inbox—an option for family-focused communications
My Family—shareable lists and contact information for family members
“Famicity is an ad free, user friendly, and safe family social media product for sharing family moments, emotions, and memories,” said FamilySearch’s partner marketing manager, Courtney Connolly.
Connolly explained that for current FamilySearch users, Famicity can read and automatically upload relevant data from their FamilySearch Family Tree. Plans are underway for a future Famicity release that will allow users to sync information between a user’s Famicity and FamilySearch Accounts.
To get started, users need to create a free account at Famicity.com. For FamilySearch accountholders, there will be instructions how to upload their FamilySearch information to their new Famicity account.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Famicity is a social network platform that allows you to share cherished family memories simply and privately, with all your relatives. It’s a living record of your family at your fingertips, without compromising your family’s privacy and confidentiality, and families everywhere are eager to fund it. With Famicity you can write, share, organize and preserve the legacy of your extended family.
Resource for further information: “The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare”
I read This article four times to get a feeling for the author and the story. I realized I had transcended home to Igbo land.
Resource: Access August 9, 2017 – https://www.dnatestedafricans.org/single-post/2017/06/18/The-Invisible-Artifact-Something-Amazing-Happened
The Invisible Artifact ~ A Journey From Igboland to South Carolina
April 16, 2017
AdaaEze Naja Chinyere Njoku
A Dibia (native healer) in Igboland was awakened from a very disturbing dream. The gods were giving him a message. He went to the Eze (king) and informed him. The Eze told him to go and do what he was directed. He returned to the shrine after gathering wood from the sacred Iroko tree. He personally carved a mysterious artifact, creating a secret compartment at the bottom where he placed inside, a kola nut, alligator pepper , and a message.
Meanwhile, the Eze summonsed the town crier to have every elder male and elder female of each family to meet him at his palace immediately. They each arrived wondering why they were assembled at such a later hour. The Dibia returned with the artifact and explained that the gods told him of an impending danger.
He said that a tomb will float on the great water, bringing a choking white fog. The fog would engulf many of the village people but some will survive. He advised that when this horrible white smoke came, to run to a place near the evil forest where they would be invisible to the naked eye. A great fear came over the villagers because no one went near the evil forest unless they were cast out of the village. It was an abomination.
The elders all began to speak at the same time.
The clanking sound of the Dibia’s staff striking the ground, caused a silence to roll across the tongues of each person there. His eyes turned a hazy white as he went into a trance. He said, “Out of this abomination, our people will return”. He directed each elder to come to the artifact. He recited an incantation and told each elder to touch a different area of it. When they touched it, that area displayed a mystical glowing symbol that was not carved into the artifact.
It sealed their DNA into the symbols.
The Dibia explained that the mystical symbols would only glow when a descendant of the elder that touched it was near.
When the last elder touched the artifact, a second seal was placed upon it and another artifact, an exact duplicate appeared out of a puff of red smoke. They were all amazed. He kept the second artifact with him. It could only be passed from Dibia to his successor, until the time of reckoning.
The Dibia called the strongest man in the group. His name was Obinna (Obi). He was noticeable because of the bright spiritual glow about him that only he could see.
The guards were given instructions to hold him, regardless to what happened next. They did. The Dibia placed a green herb in his mouth and pushed the artifact into his chest. It started to burn his skin as he screamed in uncontrollable pain. His skin divided and the artifact went inside of him. Then the pain was gone as if nothing happened. Eze assigned him warriors to guard him day and night. They were all sworn to secrecy to NEVER reveal what took place that night.
About 7 years later, the dreaded tomb came floating on the great water. The white fog rolled all around it. Many were taken away in the fog while some made it safely to the meeting place. A mother screamed in the darkness. She was unable to find her son Obi. He was the one that the Dibia chose to hold the sacred artifact inside of him.
Three Months on the Great Wata
The white fog took him and many others to a foreign land. Obinna (Obi) and those that were with him in that dreadful tomb were placed on a block and sold into slavery. Obi lived to be 97 years old. He had many children and grandchildren. They called him Papa Obi. They all remembered the stories he told of how he was brought to this place when the white fog came to his homeland. He told them of how he found that some of his age mates decided that they would rather drown themselves than to be enslaved. He even tried himself but the water would not take him. The artifact inside of him caused the water to push him back to the surface and back away.
His children loved his stories and decided to research this place that seemed almost mythical. They found that it is now called Nigeria. Some call it Naija. He always said he could still hear his mother’s voice from back home, guiding him, even until the day he died. His body was laid to rest in a beautiful wooden coffin at the foot of a huge tree, in a place now called South Carolina. His tombstone read ” Here lies Obinna, also known as Papa Obi, born 1724 in Nigeria; died 1821 in SC”.
Each year this amazing tree grows closer to its roots and has several knots and bends in it. There is no other tree like it in the whole land. Some folks call it an angel oak tree. Others call it a Spirit tree. There has always been something different about that tree.
275 years later, in Nigeria….2016
A Dibia is awakened from a dream. He performed an incantation and retrieved the artifact. He took it to the Eze and explained its history. The elders of each family were called to witness the extraction of the message and the Kola nut. The message read ““Out of this Obama Nation, our people will return. Obi is Ibo, SC”. It was a peculiar message.
Several scholars, at the University, were called to try to decipher its meaning. It was baffling. A Nigerian private investigator, named Emeka, was also contacted. He was preferred because he was aware of the modern day technology as well as the ancient customs of his people.
When Emeka was taken to see the artifact, one of the symbols glowed. It was a tree with the letters SC at the bottom of the tree. He found that Obinna and he shared the same ancestor. They were family! This investigation became a personal journey. His family was taken by the white fog. Many questions consumed him. Where are they now? What happened to them? Emeka had to know.
DNA Tested African Descendants will be taking our 1st Family Reunion Cruise on 6 May 2018 departing from Orlando, Florida. If you would like to join us as we meet and reconnect, please register. Bring the family with you!! We are going to have lots of fun!
This is the first of many journeys that we will be taking. It is ONLY just the beginning! Keep DNA testing your family and finding more relatives.
ALL Are Invited! Bring your church, your greek, your Masonic, your organization, your family, and friends! All are welcome!
There are so many things to do on the ship that is a part of the cruise itself, it’s just amazing!
Scientists propose an algorithm to study DNA faster and more accurately
January 18, 2016
A team of scientists from Germany, the United States and Russia, including Dr. Mark Borodovsky, a Chair of the Department of Bioinformatics at MIPT, have proposed an algorithm to automate the process of searching for genes, making it more efficient. The new development combines the advantages of the most advanced tools for working with genomic data. The new method will enable scientists to analyse DNA sequences faster and more accurately and identify the full set of genes in a genome.
Although the paper describing the algorithm only appeared recently in the journal Bioinformatics, which is published by Oxford Journals, the proposed method has already proven to be very popular—the computer software program has been downloaded by more than 1500 different centres and laboratories worldwide. Tests of the algorithm have shown that it is considerably more accurate than other similar algorithms.
The development involves applications of the cross-disciplinary field of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics combines mathematics, statistics and computer science to study biological molecules, such as DNA, RNA and protein structures. DNA, which is fundamentally an information molecule, is even sometimes depicted in computerized form (see Fig. 1) in order to emphasize its role as a molecule of biological memory. Bioinformatics is a very topical subject; every new sequenced genome raises so many additional questions that scientists simply do not have time to answer them all. So automating processes is key to the success of any bioinformatics project, and these algorithms are essential for solving a wide variety of problems.
One of the most important areas of bioinformatics is annotating genomes – determining which particular DNA molecules are used to synthesize RNA and proteins (see Fig. 2). These parts – genes – are of great scientific interest. The fact is that in many studies, scientists do not need information about the entire genome (which is around 2 metres long for a single human cell), but about its most informative part – genes. Gene sections are identified by searching for similarities between sequence fragments and known genes, or by detecting consistent patterns of the nucleotide sequence. This process is carried out using predictive algorithms.
Locating gene sections is no easy task, especially in eukaryotic organisms, which includes almost all widely known types of organism, except for bacteria. This is due to the fact that in these cells, the transfer of genetic information is complicated by “gaps” in the coding regions (introns) and because there are no definite indicators to determine whether a region is a coding region or not.
The algorithm proposed by the scientists determines which regions in the DNA are genes and which are not. The scientists used a Markov chain, which is a sequence of random events, the future of which is dependent on past events. The states of the chain in this case are either nucleotides or nucleotide words (k-mers). The algorithm determines the most probable division of a genome into coding and noncoding regions, classifying the genomic fragments in the best possible way according to their ability to encode proteins or RNA. Experimental data obtained from RNA give additional useful information which can be used to train the model used in the algorithm. Certain gene prediction programs can use this data to improve the accuracy of finding genes. However, these algorithms require type-specific training of the model. For the AUGUSTUS software program, for example, which has a high level of accuracy, a training set of genes is needed. This set can be obtained using another program – GeneMark-ET – which is a self-training algorithm. These two algorithms were combined in the BRAKER1 algorithm, which was proposed jointly by the developers of AUGUSTUS and GeneMark-ET.
BRAKER1 has demonstrated a high level of efficiency. The developed program has already been downloaded by more than 1500 different centres and laboratories. Tests of the algorithm have shown that it is considerably more accurate than other similar algorithms. The example running time of BRAKER1 on a single processor is ∼17.5 hours for training and the prediction of genes in a genome with a length of 120 megabases. This is a good result, considering that this time may be significantly reduced by using parallel processors, and this means that in the future, the algorithm might function even faster and generally more efficiently.
Tools such as these solve a variety of problems. Accurately annotating genes in a genome is extremely important – an example of this is the global 1000 Genomes Project, the initial results of which have already been published. Launched in 2008, the project involves researchers from 75 different laboratories and companies. Sequences of rare gene variants and gene substitutions were discovered, some of which can cause disease. When diagnosing genetic diseases, it is very important to know which substitutions in gene sections cause the disease to develop. The project mapped genomes of different people , noting their coding sections, and rare nucleotide substitutions were identified. In the future, this will help doctors to diagnose complex diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
BRAKER1 enables scientists to work effectively with the genomes of new organisms, speeding up the process of annotating genomes and acquiring essential knowledge about life sciences.