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Monday, January 22, 2018

Genetic data of people in NE to be collected

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 14:24
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IMPHAL, November 6: In a move to develop personalised medicines in future by exploring genetic information while dealing with health issues in the Northeastern region, Bengaluru-based Centre for Brain Research of Indian Institute of Science (CBR, IISc) in collaboration with Imphal based Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD),is all set to undertake the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in North East(NE) region. WGS is the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome (an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes) at a single time. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism.

Launching the Genome India project for NE here recently, Director Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo of Imphal based IBSD, a National Institute under Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, said that the initiative will help the scientists to identify genetic disease burden of the population in the region besides establishing age-related disorders, etc.

Prof Sahoo said the step has been taken up in NE region which has more than 220 ethnic groups living in very diverse topographies, so that the economic burden in dealing with health issues could be reduced by personalised medicines which could be achieved by use of the genetic information.

The initiative is to systematically document the genetic information from WGS for thousands of Indian individuals belonging to different geographical locations and diverse population groups across the country, to facilitate genome wide association studies at a cheaper cost in India for any genetic disease or trait.

CBR, IISc, Bangalore Founder Chairperson Prof Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath said that the mapping and understanding of the human genome across the country including NE will be taken up to identify the mutation existing in the population. Prof Vijayalakshmi who is also the former Director of National Brain Research Centre, Haryana said, "By analysing, we can also establish what the genetic risk diseases are so that we can take up public health measures."

According to Prof Vijayalakshmi, the brain behind the initiative, the study plans to cover around 2,000 individuals in NE, of 10,000 across the country on a priority basis within three years time.

This will also develop a comprehensive data resource for population specific genetic variants and also enable development of personalised medicine, which would be more effective, with reduced side effects.

Scientists from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Institute of Life Sciences,Bhubaneswar, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani were also present during the launching function. (Courtesy: AT)

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