This is a paper I’ve been waiting for: the analysis of the HeLa genome. I was aware of a lot of issues with the cell lines and missing or duplicated regions from the ENCODE data that was coming along some time ago: Mining the “big data” is…fascinating. And necessary.
People may be familiar with HeLa cells even if they aren’t in biomedical research because of the great book by Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which explored the history of these cells and the woman whose terrible cancer led to their existence.
But there were many discussions over the years about how different these cells are from actual tissues, and concerns over how representative they are for actual human research issues. Here are some:
HeLa: No Longer Human 1992. http://t.co/phbw5KbV Helacyton gartleri
— mem_somerville (@mem_somerville) May 10, 2012
— Genome Biology (@GenomeBiology) May 10, 2012
So a new paper has been published that explores this–and it’s at the top of my reading list for later today.
Here’s the paper itself: http://www.g3journal.org/content/early/2013/03/11/g3.113.005777.abstract
Update: A piece from one of the paper’s authors:
— Raeka Aiyar (@raekaaiyar) March 18, 2013
Landry JJM, Pyl1 PT, Rausch T, Zichner T, Tekkedil MM, Stütz AM, Jauch A, Aiyar RS, Pau G, Delhomme N, Gagneur J, Korbel JO, Huber W, & Steinmetz LM (2013). The Genomic and Transcriptomic Landscape of a HeLa Cell Line G3 : 10.1534/g3.113.005777