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International HapMap consortium expands mapping effort

anding of the genetic risk factors underlying a wide range of diseases and conditions," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

The first phase of the HapMap Project has allowed scientists to make important analyses of the human genome that were not possible with just the human DNA sequence, and the International HapMap Consortium plans to publish its comprehensive analysis of this data later this year. The second phase of the project will provide researchers with a denser map that will enable them to more precisely narrow gene discovery to specific regions of the genome.

The effort to expand the HapMap is made possible by $3.3 million in additional support from a unique public-private partnership, including the following organizations: the Wellcome Trust, London, $624,000; Genome Canada/Genome Quebec, $260,000; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York, $100,000; Pfizer Inc., New York, $100,000; Perlegen Sciences, at least $1.2 million (based on "in kind" services); and NHGRI, $1 million. The donations from the two pharmaceutical companies were coordinated by The SNP Consortium, Ltd., of Deerfield, Ill.

"Researchers are already using HapMap data to accelerate the search for genes involved in common diseases, as well as genes involved in drug responsiveness," said Karen Kennedy, Ph.D., science program manager at the Wellcome Trust. "When the more comprehensive version of the HapMap is completed this fall, such studies will be able to be carried out with even greater speed and efficiency."

To create the HapMap, DNA was taken from blood samples from volunteer donors from the following populations: Han Chinese in Beijing, Japanese in Tokyo, Yoruba in Ibadan, Nigeria and Utah residents with ancestry from northern and western Europe. No medical or personal identifying information was obtained from the 270 donors. However, the samples are identified by the population from which they were collected.

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Source:NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute


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