Genome India Initiative: Human Genome Cataloguing Project
India will launch its first human genome mapping project by October 2019, a move that will help researchers get closer to developing effective therapies for treating diseases such as cancer. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) plans to scan nearly 20,000 Indian genomes over five years and develop diagnostic tests that can be used for cancer.
Highlights of the Programme
- The first phase involves sequencing the genomes of nearly 10,000 Indians to capture the biological diversity of the country.
- In the next phase, about 10,000 “diseased individuals” would have their genomes sequenced.
- These data would be compared using machine learning techniques to identify genes that can predict cancer risk, as well as other diseases that could be significantly influenced by genetic anomalies.
- These data would be compared using machine learning to identify genes that can predict cancer risk, as well as other diseases that could be significantly influenced by genetic anomalies.
- 22 institutions, including those from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the DBT would be involved in the exercise.
- The data generated would also be accessible to other researchers.
- Cancer has now become one of the most prevalent non communicable diseases due to pollution and lifestyle change. There is a need for research in this domain to inculcate the habit of scientific living in harmony with environment.
- India is a medical tourism destination and cancer research opens up a plethora of opportunities to generate health infrastructure in the country.