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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 05 August, 2019

  • Min Read

Genome India Initiative

GS-III: Genome India Initiative

Context

India is planning to launch its first Human Genome Mapping project.

What is Genome?

  • A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all its genes.
  • It contains all the information needed to build and maintain that organism.
  • By sequencing the genome, researchers can discover the functions of genes and identify which of them are critical for life.

Genome Initiative

  • The project involves scanning of 20,000 Indian genomes (in the next five years) in order to develop diagnostic tests and effective therapies for treating diseases such as cancer.
  • It is to be implemented by The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.

The project is to be carried out in two phases:

  • The first phase of the project involves sequencing the complete genomes of 10,000 healthy Indians.
  • The second phase involves genome sequencing of 10,000 diseased individuals.
  • Data on human sequencing would be accessible to researchers through a proposed National Biological Data Centre envisaged in Biological Data Storage, Access and Sharing Policy.

Significance

  • Healthcare: For new advancements in medical science (like predictive diagnosis and precision medicine, genomic information) and in disease management, genome sequencing can play a crucial role.
  • Through genome sequencing methodology, researchers and clinicians can easily detect the disease related to genetic disorders.
  • Genetic Screening: The genome project will lead to improved techniques of genetic screening for diseases prior to birth.

Way Forward

  • Discrimination: Discrimination based on genotype is a possible consequence of genome sequencing.
  • Ownership and Control: Apart from the issue of privacy and confidentiality, questions of ownership and control of genetic information become critical.
  • Fair Use of Genetic Data: For insurance, employment, criminal justice, education, adoption, and the military is necessary.

Source: The Hindu


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