Why in news?
The Biotechnology Department (DBT) aims to study almost 20,000 Indian genomes in a two-phase experiment over the next five years to develop diagnostic tests that can be extended to cancer.
What is this initiative?
- The first phase involves the sequencing of the entire genomes of almost 10,000 Indians from across the country and capturing India’s biological diversity.
- DBT will capture data from more than 10,000 people over the next three years and link them to its bio banks and biorepository.
- The genomes of 10,000 “diseased persons” would be sequenced in the next phase.
- 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.
- Ever since the human genome was first sequenced in 2003, it opened a fresh perspective on the link between disease and the unique genetic make-up of each individual.
- The produced data would be available for study to researchers everywhere.
- As the genetic environment varies throughout the globe, genetic data must be exchanged to gain more insights from research and support the purpose of optimizing patient outcomes.
- The initiative will aim to make predictive diagnostic markers available for some priority diseases such as cancer and other rare and genetic disorders
- Nearly 10,000 diseases – including cystic fibrosis, thalassemia are known to be the result of a single gene malfunctioning.
- The initiative will pave the way to classify genes and genetic variations for common diseases, to treat Mendelian disorders and to allow the precise medicine environment to be transformed in India.