Hinxton science hub’s ‘life-saving’ work praised by Essex’s Euro MP

Uttlesford's MEP Richard Howitt at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, ahead of Rare Disease Day 20

Uttlesford's MEP Richard Howitt at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, ahead of Rare Disease Day 2015. - Credit: Archant

Uttlesford’s MEP has welcomed the “life-saving” work of Europe’s largest DNA sequencing centre.

On Friday last week, Richard Howitt paid a visit to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton ahead of Rare Disease Day, to find out more about the work being done to help diagnose rare diseases.

The MEP for Essex was taken around the institute and learned about the pioneering project on Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) – a study which aims to find the genetic cause of rare developmental disorders using the latest sequencing technologies.

“Living with a rare disease can be difficult, distressing and lonely,” said Mr Howitt, a Labour politician.

“And that is why I have been leading the charge for the European Union to help improve awareness of rare diseases and make sure information and medical help is shared across European borders so no British child is left to suffer without help.


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“Labour in Europe has successfully brought in measures which will reduce the amount of time and money needed to conduct trials which are vital for rare diseases.

“I’m delighted to visit the Sanger Institute to see and learn about all the life-saving work they do.”

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Mr Howitt was taken round the institute by head of sequencing, Tony Cox, who shared some of his knowledge on the process of sequencing DNA, and showed the MEP the machines which can now compute a human genome in just three days.

The DDD study involves 12,000 families, and has already discovered 12 new genetic disorders, as well as diagnosed 500 children.

Visit ddduk.org for more information about the study.

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