Genomic research must shift focus onto Africa to fight diseases

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Genomic research has proven to be a considerably valuable tool in global attempts to tackle disease. One crucial part of this research has been identifying diseases and health problems that are more likely to be influenced by genetic factors and assessing the risk of a particular disease in an individual.

Eventually, scientists will be in a position to develop new ways to treat, cure, or even prevent the thousands of diseases that afflict humankind. And it will also allow them to assess the risk that exposure to toxic agents poses to individuals.

But for the world’s poorest people, the diseases that affect them have remained understudied. This is mainly due to most of these studies focusing on the genetic risk factors for disease in European populations.

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With the high burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa, medical research needs a significant boost on the continent to identify genetic risk factors for diseases and to tackle the spread of drug resistance and emerging infections.

Read full, original post: Mapping Africans’ diverse and evolving DNA could cure diseases and addictions

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