Contents start


June 13, 2002
SNP Typing System Based on
Single-Molecule Fluorescence Analysis Selected
by University of Tokyo Human SNP Typing Center
An SNP typing*1 system manufactured by Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. (President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) using single-molecule fluorescence analysis technology*2 has been selected by the University of Tokyo Human SNP Typing Center (Director: Professor Katsushi Tokunaga, Department of Human Genetics School of International Health Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Hongo Campus). The Center has just commenced full-scale research activities this month in an attempt to accelerate Japanese research relating to the exploration of disease-associated genes.
The SNP typing system employs single-molecule fluorescence analysis technology to provide fast, accurate and low-cost SNP typing. Its confocal optical system helps monitor the behavior of DNA molecules in microscopic solutions and simultaneously measures the size and number of the molecules.
The system's practicality has been demonstrated through its use in analysis services provided by NovusGene Inc. (President: Toshio Sofuni, Hachioji City, Tokyo), an affiliate of Olympus Optical. This is the first time that Olympus Optical has commercially supplied a genome analysis system. Olympus is committed to contributing to tailor-made medicine by developing medical equipment utilizing its optical technology, genetic analysis technology and solution control technology to support research into genetic and protein function analysis.
Overview of Human SNP Typing Center in the University of Tokyo
The Center was established on the Hongo Campus of the University of Tokyo. Its mission is to promote and improve the efficiency of efforts to discover disease-associated genes, as part of a priority research study in the field of genome-based medicine funded through the grant-in-aid scheme of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology (MEXT). Under the Millennium Project launched by MEXT in 1999, the Center will target medical innovations that reflect the characteristics of individual patients in an aging society. Research goals will include the expansion of knowledge about genetic causes and mechanisms of lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and allergies. At the request of genome researchers in major universities and public research institutes in Japan, the Center will carry out the requested tests for SNP typing on a consignment basis subject to approval formalities by ethics committees in the institutions concerned. It is expected to receive one million SNP typing orders annually.
*1 SNP Typing
SNP stands for "single nucleotide polymorphism," which means variation in single nucleotides that occurs only once in every 300-500 DNA sequences. Such variations in nucleotides are thought to affect susceptibility to disease and receptivity to drugs in individual human beings. The center will identify disease-associated genes by analyzing SNPs in areas believed to contain the genes based on the result of a comprehensive search of the entire genome, and candidate areas of chromosome which identified through family linkage analysis. There is considerable interest in SNP typing because of the potential to develop genomic novel drug discovery and tailor-made medicine.
*2 Single-Molecule Fluorescence Analysis
This technology is used to analyze molecular interactions in solutions that provide an environment similar to that in a living organism. A confocal laser optical system is used to observe the behavior of the molecules that make up living organisms in ultra-microscopic fields measuring approximately 1 femtoliter (1 thousand trillionth of a liter). The system measures amplification products from primers with fluorescent labels, the size of proteins, and the number of molecules per measurement area at the individual molecule level. The system was developed jointly with Evotec Technologies (CEO: Dr. Carsten Claussen, Hamburg, Germany).
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
  • Press releases are company announcements that are directed at the news media.
  • Information posted on this site is current and accurate only at the time of their original publication date, and may now be outdated or inaccurate.
  • Company names and product names specified are trademarks of their respective owners.