The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 26th, 2015
It’s one of the toughest conversations imaginable: approaching a
grieving family in a hospital and asking for permission to take dozens
of tissues for research from a loved one who has died unexpectedly.
During the last five years, that has been the task of "tissue
requesters" operating on behalf of the Genotype-Tissue Expression
(GTEx) project, a $100-million effort organized by the National
Institutes of Health. With the research — the first wave of which was published this month
— scientists hope to illuminate the roles played by DNA variants in
regulating the expression of genes. The researchers want to know how
gene expression works in different parts of the same person’s body, and
also in similar tissues across multiple individuals.