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Project Will Map Genomes of 1,000 People Worldwide
Date:1/22/2008

all fraction of genetic variation among humans can help explain individual differences in disease susceptibility, response to drugs, or reaction to environmental factors.

Previous research has identified more than 100 regions of the human genome that contain genetic variants associated with the risk of common diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, prostate and breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and age-related macular degeneration.

However, existing genome maps are not extremely detailed, which means that researchers often have to use expensive and time-consuming DNA sequencing to help them identify precise genetic variants that cause a disease.

The new genetic map created by the 1000 Genomes Project will help scientists more quickly pinpoint disease-related genetic variants and advance efforts to use genetic information to develop new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent genetic-related diseases.

"This new project will increase the sensitivity of disease discovery efforts across the genome five-fold and within gene regions at least 10-fold," NHGRI director Dr. Francis S. Collins said in a prepared statement.

"Our existing databases do a reasonably good job of cataloging variations found in at least 10 percent of a population. By harnessing the power of new sequencing technologies and novel computational methods, we hope to give biomedical researchers a genome-wide map of variation down to the 1 percent level. This will change the way we carry out studies of genetic disease," Collins said.

More information

Find out more at 1000 genomes.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, news release, Jan. 22, 2008


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