A gene has been associated with human kidney aging, according to researchers from Stanford University, the National Institute on Aging, the MedStar Research Institute, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. In work published on October 16 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, the investigators, including HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigators Rick Myers and Devin Absher, claim that their approach can be applied to any phenotype of interest to help find other genetic associations.
It is probably a safe bet that genomics would be a slightly different place had Richard Myers pursued his original path. Myers — now president and director of the Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala. — began his academic career as a sociology major at the University of Alabama in the mid-1970s. But halfway through, he ended up in a chemistry class that captured his interest and caused him to drop the softer science cold. And it's a good thing, too, because Myers went on to play a major role in the Human Genome Project, among many other large-scale collaborations. From 1993 until 2008, Myers was a professor in the department of genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also directed the Stanford Human Genome Center. In fact, Myers and his genome center contributed roughly 11 percent of the human sequence — chromosomes 5, 16, and 19.