Dark Genes Shine Light on Genomics ETF Opportunity | ETF Trends

The ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG) continually offers investors exposure to new frontiers in the healthcare space. Add another to that growing list in the form long read sequencing shedding light on dark genes.

The actively managed ARKG offers investors a thematic multi-capitalization exposure to innovative elements that cover advancements in gene therapy bio-informatics, bio-inspired computing, molecular medicine, and pharmaceutical innovations. Previously, dark genes worked against medical professionals by capping understanding of genomics and human diseases, but that’s changing for the better.

“Last week, researchers published a complete sequence of chromosome eight (8)—the first non-sex chromosome to be sequenced completely,” writes ARK Invest analyst Simon Barnett. “The team identified the 2.3% of chromosome 8’s missing – or dark – genes with a combination of long-read instruments from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) and Pacific Biosciences (PACB). Unlike short-read platforms, the more expensive long-read platforms can sequence ‘hard-to-read’ areas of the genome.”

Cutting Edge ARKG

Understanding dark genes is the latest in a series of advances ARKG components are at the forefront and it underscores the point that, in this case, active management works in favor of investors because index-based strategies often can’t move nimbly enough to capture these new opportunities.

“Among other discoveries, the researchers found a 644,000-base pair (bp) region in a gene cluster – DEFB1 –seemingly implicated in cystic fibrosis (CF),” according to Barnett. “Apparently, DEFB1 encodes proteins that equip the immune system to fight off bacterial infections in airways, suggesting that mutations in DEFB1 could influence the severity of CF. While geneticists typically have diagnosed CF by identifying mutations in the CFTR gene, other genetic factors such as mutations in DEFB1 will help them diagnose the course of the disease more accurately.”

Genomics companies try to better understand how biological information is collected, processed and applied by reducing guesswork and enhancing precision; restructuring health care, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and enhancing our quality of life. When it comes to dark genes, there are significant inroads to be made, pointing to more growth opportunities for ARKG investors.

“Dark genes contain long, highly repetitive stretches of DNA that short-read sequencers cannot interpret. Many errors take place during sample preparation, making it difficult or impossible to overcome with software tools,” notes Barnett.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.