GENOME INDIA PROJECT
Context: Clearance has been provided to an ambitious gene-mapping project by the Government of India. The project is estimated to be worth Rs 238 crore.
PROJECT OVERVIEW Genome India Project will involve 20 leading institutions including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru and a few IITs. Project Cost: 238 Crore First stage of the project: It will look at samples of “10,000 persons from all over the country” to form a “grid” that will enable the development of a “reference genome”. Nodal Point of Project: IISc (Bengaluru)’s Centre for Brain Research, an autonomous institute. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED? With the help of this Project, the diverse genetic pool of India will be mapped and it will help in making personalised medicine. Presently, the goal of personalized medicine is to utilize information about a person’s genes, including his or her nucleotide sequence, to make drugs better and safer. It will be a hard task considering the population diversity and the disease burden of complex disorders like diabetes, mental health, etc but once the genetic basis is ready it will be possible and easy to take action before the onset of a disease. The initiative will open up the routes for identifying genes and genetic variations for common diseases, treating Mendelian disorders, enabling the transformation of the Precision Medicine landscape in India, and thus improving the healthcare of the general population in our country. In other words, the Mapping of India’s genetic landscape holds a critically important position for next-generation medicine, agriculture and for biodiversity management. WHAT IS A GENOME AND ITS SEQUENCING? Genome refers to an organism’s complete set of DNA, which includes all its genes and mapping these genes simply means finding out the location of these genes in a chromosome. The study of the genome is called genomics. Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science that focuses on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. Genomics also involves the sequencing and analysis of genomes through uses of high throughput DNA sequencing. A genome sequence is the complete list of the nucleotides (A, C, G, and T for DNA genomes) that make up all the chromosomes of an individual or a species. NEED OF GENOME SEQUENCING: The Sequencing of Genes will help mapping the diversity of India’s genetic pool which would lay the bedrock of personalised medicine and put it on the global map. Considering the diversity of population in India, and the disease burden of complex disorders, including diabetes, mental health, etc., once we have a genetic basis, it may be possible to take action before the onset of a disease.
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ABOUT HUMAN GENOME PROJECT The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the base pairs that make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint. The project formally launched in 1990 and was declared complete on April 14, 2003.The Human Genome Project originally aimed to map the nucleotides contained in a human haploid reference genome (more than three billion). The Project has revealed that there are probably about 20,500 human genes. This information can be thought of as the basic set of inheritable “instructions” for the development and function of a human being.