Prime Minister David Cameron has said it “will see the UK lead the world in genetic research within years.”
The first genetic codes of people with cancer or rare diseases, out of a target of 100,000, have been sequenced.
Experts believe it will lead to targeted therapies and could make chemotherapy “a thing of the past.”
This four-year project which will look at 100,000 genomes is being run by Genomics England.
Pilots have been set up at centers across England – including sites in Newcastle, Cambridge and London – and the first genome was sequenced on May 30.
The project has now passed the 100 genome mark, with the aim of reaching 1,000 by the end of the year and 10,000 by the end of 2015.
The genome of a patient’s tumour will be scoured for differences with the genetic code of their healthy tissue.
People with rare diseases, usually children, will have their DNA compared with that of close relatives.
University scientists and a drug companies will be allowed to access the data for their research.
They argue that understanding DNA will soon play a role in every aspect of medicine from cancer to cardiology.
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