On the tenth anniversary of the completion of the first draft of the human genome a draft which had taken ten years to complete the Wellcome Trust today launches a project to decode the genomes of 10,000 people over the next three years. This will be one of the largest genome sequencing programmes ever undertaken and will analyse the genomes of the equivalent of one in 6,000 people in the UK.
The UK10K project is expected to uncover many rare genetic variants that are important in human disease, giving a much deeper picture of genetics that can be applied to other studies both in the UK and around the world. It is being funded through a 10.5 million strategic award to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in collaboration with clinical researchers from around the UK, using samples and cohort data collected over many years.
There are two components to the UK10K project: the genomes of four thousand people, who have each been studied for many diseases and traits over many years, will be completely sequenced; the gene-containing regions genomes of six thousand people with extreme obesity, neurodevelopmental disease and other conditions will also be studied.
"Although genetics over the past five years has yielded a rich harvest of hundreds of variants associated with disease, much more remains to be discovered," says Dr Richard Durbin, Principal Investigator on the Project, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "With this award, we are seizing the chance to use technological advances in DNA sequencing to find variants that have even greater consequence for health."
The 4000 genomes will be from two important groups of people who have been studied for many years the TwinsUK and ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children also known as Children of the 90s) studies. The first includes 11,000 twins born in the UK, some of whom have taken part in studies for more than 18 years. ALSPAC includes more than 9000 people
|Contact: Craig Brierley|