The Human Genome Project has a diversity problem. Here’s what’s being done to address it

Credit: History 101
Credit: History 101

The Human Genome Project shed light on our species in 2001, but it was a patchwork of different humans’ genes that didn’t really reflect humanity’s genetic makeup. Flash forward 20 years, however, and science is taking a significant leap forward. Researchers have revealed a new dataset of 64 sequenced full human genomes that should better reflect genetic diversity. Until now, scientists have typically looked at small genetic changes — this could spot broader structural differences.

The new reference point covers 25 different human populations. Crucially, it doesn’t borrow from the Human Genome Project’s original material and should highlight differences as a consequence.

There are limitations. The team warned that its genome sequencing still didn’t cover the “full spectrum” of gene structure variations, leaving gaps in coverage. 

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Even so, the dataset should prove extremely useful for medicine. It could help pinpoint genetic predispositions toward diseases and other health conditions, leading to deeper understandings of health issues that disproportionately effect certain groups. That, in turn, could lead to more effective treatments that truly serve the whole human population, not just certain parts of it.

Read the original post

Related article:  CRISPR may help pave the way to cross-species organ transplants
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
seralinistud

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend