A project to decipher the DNA of a million people is starting

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) received $ 28.6 million for the construction of three genetic data processing centers. In these centers, of the tissue samples donated by volunteers participating in the All of Us project, DNA is extracted, sequenced, and the results are added to the database.

The project will bring together specialists from several major American universities – Baylor College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Texas, Washington and Cambridge. It is planned that the study will attract a million people. The program registered 110 thousand volunteers, of which 60 thousand have already passed the main stage of data collection.

Participants in the study not only provide biomaterials for DNA isolation, but also fill out questionnaires with questions about their health and lifestyle. Participation in the program is not limited to a single delivery of biomaterials: from volunteers it will be necessary to take urine and blood tests, provide fitness tracker data and other information at regular intervals.

“15 years have passed since the end of the Human Genome project. We are now embarking on a no less ambitious project that will collect a huge amount of genetic information. The database that we will create will bring great breakthroughs in science closer and will help in the struggle for the health of future generations, ”says NIH press release to the words of the head of the organization Francis Collins.

“One of our main tasks is to provide diversity. Representatives of social groups will take part in the All of Us program, about which researchers now have little data – they rarely take part in genetic and medical research, ”said program director Eric Dishman.

The results of genetic research will go to the database without personal data of volunteers, but then they will be able to get information about their own DNA. Primary data sets will consist of information about 59 genes, variants of which are associated with the risk of developing diseases (ACMG 59), as well as results of a pharmacogenomic study on the effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the toxicity and efficacy of drugs (today the FDA). Medicines (FDA) recognizes the dependence of the effectiveness of about 100 drugs on genetic characteristics). Later, participants in the program will receive information about the origin of their ancestors.

Planet Today

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