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The Medical Genome Reference Bank: Whole genomes and phenotype of 2,570 healthy elderly
Emma M Rath,
Tina Navin Cristina,
Vivian F Silva Kahl,
Aaron L Statham,
Robyn L Woods,
John J McNeil,
Mark R Nelson,
Christopher M Reid,
Anne M Murray,
Raj C Shah,
Joshua R. Atkins,
Heath M Cairns,
Melissa J. Green,
Vaughan J. Carr,
Mark J Cowley,
Hilda A. Pickett,
Paul A James,
Murray J. Cairns,
Marcel E. Dinger,
David M Thomas
Posted 18 Nov 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/473348
Posted 18 Nov 2018
Population health research is increasingly focused on the genetic determinants of healthy ageing, but there is no public resource of whole genome sequences and phenotype data from healthy elderly individuals. Here we describe the Medical Genome Reference Bank (MGRB), comprising whole genome sequence and phenotype of 2,570 elderly Australians depleted for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. We analysed the MGRB for single-nucleotide, indel and structural variation in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Individuals in the MGRB had fewer disease-associated common and rare germline variants, relative to both cancer cases and the gnomAD and UK BioBank cohorts, consistent with risk depletion. Pervasive age-related somatic changes were correlated with grip strength in men, suggesting blood-derived whole genomes may also provide a biologic measure of age-related functional deterioration. The MGRB provides a broadly applicable reference cohort for clinical genetics and genomic association studies, and for understanding the genetics of healthy ageing. This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank Resource under Application Number 17984.
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