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QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN - Snapshot Report) announced the Empowered Genome Community, a noble initiative meant to help people who have had their genomes sequenced through efforts such as the Harvard’s Personal Genome Project (PGP) and Understand Your Genome (UYG) program.

At a time, when the medical community needs more innovative and technologically advanced devised ways and means, to cater to the challenging needs of the healthcare industry, the Empowered Genome Community of QIAGEN brings a new leash of hope for the common people as well as researchers.

The first-of-its-kind in the bio science industry, this community intends to help those who have had their genomes sequenced, share, explore and interpret data among themselves as well as with researchers. This is made possible through QIAGEN’s secure online genome interpretation application, Ingenuity Variant Analysis. It is a powerful HIPAA-compliant cloud-based solution that can compare and interpret human genomes to help researchers understand diseases and other phenotypes.

The core of this interpretation resource is the Ingenuity Knowledge Base, the leading expert-curated knowledge resource for next generation biology.

To showcase the utility of the Empowered Genome Community, QIAGEN released an open collaborative analysis of myopia in 111 people whose genomes were sequenced through Harvard's PGP. QIAGEN scientists implemented Variant Analysis to compare the whole genomes of 111 PGP participants surveyed for eye diseases.

The study revealed that 46 genes were enriched with rare, potentially functionally relevant variants in people with myopia, but not those without the condition. Further filtering using Variant Analysis and significant insights from Ingenuity Knowledge Base showed that 17 of these genes demonstrate characteristics related to eyes found in people or mice, or directly interact with such genes.

The company is soon planning to invite an open collaboration till Jan 31, 2014, to build a pool of data on human genomes that will help to strengthen its expertise on myopia physiology, epidemiology, and filtering strategies. Substantial contributions recognized by joint authorship on any resulting publication will also be welcome.

QIAGEN believes the Empowered Genome Community has the potential to contribute meaningfully to the study of genomes. This revolutionary knowledge platform can go a long way in the bioscience industry enabling researchers and scientists to spark new insights from its data and findings.

The Empowered Genome Community also carries forward the noble mission taken up by public sequencing efforts like the PGP, aiding better understanding of important phenotypes like eyesight.

QGEN currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that are worth a look include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN - Analyst Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Agenus Inc. (AGEN - Snapshot Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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