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HGNC Newsletter Autumn 2010

< Previous Issue There are currently 29873 approved symbols

In this newsletter: we report two new arrivals this quarter: a new team member and the birth of a baby.  We also bring news of our travels to meetings and news on upcoming changes to the HGNC website.

A new HGNC baby

We are very pleased to congratulate Elspeth and her family on the birth of their second child!  Keela Bruford was born on Monday 11th October and is younger sister to Tiernan.  Keela is a Gaelic name meaning “beautiful”.

New team member

We'd like to introduce a new member to our team: Louise Daugherty, who joined the project in October. Louise studied plant genetics and her MSc. focused on the co-evolution of Loranthaceae and Nectarinia. Louise has curated many things, from heritage vegetables to mutant forms of Arabidopsis and human expression data. She recently worked as a curator at InterPro, integrating protein signatures into a single resource.  Louise will be using her InterPro knowledge to provide information that will help us name genes currently designated as C#orfs.  She will also be tackling the gene family pages and hopes to organise them into sensible groupings with additional resources available to the research community.

Gene symbols in the news

The following approved gene symbols have featured recently in the news:
In September the media pondered the end of the need for glasses due to a reported association between a variation in the RASGRF1 gene and myopia.  In October the molecular structure of CXCR4 was reported and the resulting hope for the treatment of both HIV and cancer was discussed.   In the same month it was reported that individuals with a certain variant of the CYP2E1 gene are able to break down alcohol more quickly than others.

Meeting news

Matt recently attended the EMBO/EMBL Symposium on The Non-Coding Genome held in Heidelberg, Germany, from 13th-16th October.  He presented a poster detailing the excellent progress we've made in naming human non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes.  The HGNC is actively engaging the RNA research community and to date we have named almost 3,000 human non-protein coding RNA (ncRNA) genes and ncRNA pseudogenes. Most of these represent classical small ncRNA genes but naming of genes encoding long (>200nt) non-coding RNAs is also progressing well.

Michael attended the Genome Informatics 2010 conference from September 15th-19th in Hinxton, where he presented a poster on the HCOP (HGNC Comparison of Orthology Predictions) tool.  Shortly after, he attended ECCB10 from 26th-29th September in Ghent, Belgium, where he presented a poster on the List Search tool.

Matt and Ruth will be at the 60th Annual American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) meeting in Washington D.C. from 2nd-6th November.  They will be contactable at the EMBL-EBI booth (527), which they will be sharing with Ensembl.  If you have any nomenclature queries or suggestions, please come and visit us.

Watch this space

Susan is in the process of redesigning our website to make its use more intuitive.  We are also improving our Quick Gene Search tool so that results will be returned in a more logical order and will be paginated. We will bring more news of these changes in the New Year.


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