About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Genetic Code of an African and an Asian Decoded

by Hannah Punitha on November 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM
 Genetic Code of an African and an Asian Decoded

Laboratories have for the first time sequenced the full genetic code of an African and an Asian in what amounts to a major step towards the goal of a tailor-made profile of one's DNA.

Until now, the genomes of only two individuals -- James Watson, who co-determined DNA's double-helix structure, and maverick biotech entrepreneur Craig Venter -- have been unravelled.


Both men are of European descent, which leaves gaps in knowledge about how people of different ethnic backgrounds could be susceptible, or alternatively immune, to inherited diseases or respond to medicine.

Two studies, released on Wednesday by the British-based journal Nature, aim to fill in some of those blanks, with the genomes of a Han Chinese male and a man from the Yoruba ethnic group in West Africa.

The two teams describe the methods they used to expose the three billion base pairs of code in the anonymous individuals' DNA.

Later work, analysing the genomes of the four men, will compare and contrast changes in the code that could be linked to disease.

The two new genomes were compiled using sequencers made by Illumina Inc., a San Diego, California, biotech firm, which with rival firms 454 Life Sciences and Applied Biosystems has been credited with slashing the cost of genomics.

The first complete human genome was published in 2003, by the Human Genome Project, at an estimated cost of around 300 million dollars.

The sequence came from samples taken from several anonymous donors in Buffalo, New York, and is thus a composite of the human code for life rather than an individual picture.

In 2007, Venter's and Watson's genomes were unveiled within a short time of each other, at a reported cost of around a million dollars a piece.

Ultimately, biotech firms hope to sequence individual genetic codes for perhaps a couple of thousands of dollars.

Venter gave his own DNA as a sample for a race between the Human Genome Project and the firm of which he was president at the time, Celera Corp.

After being published as a draft in 2001, the genome was not completed in a polished version by Celera.

An international consortium called the 1,000 Genomes Project seeks to build the current library of four individual genomes to at least 1,000 people from around the world, in order to get the broadest possible view of the genetic mosaic.

Source: AFP
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Genetics & Stem Cells News

Gene Therapy Breaks Up New Dawn for Beta Thalassemia
Groundbreaking gene therapy for genetic beta thalassemia is now accessible as a treatment to a patient post-FDA approval.
Scientists Uncover Stem Cells in the Thymus for the First Time
Thymic stem cells actively participate in their environment by generating extracellular matrix proteins, essentially forming their own support system.
First Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant
Scientists aspire to utilize stem cell transplantation for pediatric patients grappling with blood-related conditions like aplastic anemia, and thalassemia.
Scientists Accomplish Complete Genome Sequencing of Y Chromosome
Researchers have sequenced male Y chromosomes, yielding a comprehensive blueprint of the entire human chromosome collection.
Cell Therapy for Cornea Damage Addressed by Patient's Own Stem Cells
CALEC (Cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cells) procedure for stem cell transplant in eye procedures is safe and feasible, showing improved corneal surfaces or vision.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Genetic Code of an African and an Asian Decoded Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests