- Recently India planned to roll out a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians.
- This key decisions was taken at the 1st meeting of Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC).
- The Council will act as a coordinator between several ministries to work on the projects and missions and is scheduled to meet once a month,
- This mission is similar to the projects in the U.K., China, Japan and Australia.
- The Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Biotechnology Department will be closely associated with the project.
- Aim of the mission: Sequencing genomes and linking to human health and disease by research is expected to have a major impact directly on human health.
- Moreover the diversity of Indians requires a large-scale study of human genomes and the use of healthy and disease samples to understand the impact on health.
- Ever since the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009 announced that it had sequenced the genome of an Indian,(then making India one of six countries to achieve such a feat), several research labs have analysed genes from Indians for disease susceptibility.
- However, no compendium of genes that differentiate Indian populations from, say Caucasian or African genomes exist.
- A group of Indian scientists and companies are also involved with a 100k Genome Asia project, to sequence the whole genomes of 100k Asians, including 50,000 Indians.