Why cancer research should focus more on African genomes


In the past, African patients have had poor access to medical advances, even as scientists use them as research subjects. [Researcher Charles] Rotimi worried that genetics might again exploit the 1 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa, ignoring their need for treatments for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer.

[S]cientists came out with a frenzy of discoveries about our DNA that could possibly lead to new treatments for diabetes, cancer, psychiatric illnesses and other serious diseases. But they were drawing from a small slice of the world: Nearly all of the published work was based on populations with European ancestry. By 2009, fewer than 1 percent of the several hundred genome investigations included Africans.

[C]ompared with Europeans and Americans, Africans have much better genomes for research, again because of their ancestral age. Over time, as a genetic material is handed down from one generation to the next, SNPs tend to gather in clusters, making them easier for researchers to find. As a consequence, they are more apparent in older genomes.

Related article:  Burkina Faso aims to fight malaria with GMO mosquitoes, but activists warn of 'species contamination'

[T]he project, which Rotimi eventually named Human Heredity and Health in Africa, or H3Africa, would do far more than study African genomes: It would be a massive research effort led by African scientists, located in African institutions and directly benefiting the African population. H3Africa would create parity between researchers there and in Europe and North America.

Read full, original post: Cancer Scientists Have Ignored African DNA in the Search for Cures

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend