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Monday, April 15, 2024, 6:06 am

Monday, April 15, 2024, 6:06 am

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The genome sequencing results need to be broadly disseminated.

genome sequencing
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The Department of Biotechnology-funded and -coordinated Genome India Project declared that it has completed sequencing 10,000 Indian genomes. This indicates that in order to develop a “reference” Indian human genome, the whole genomes—the DNA blueprint that builds and preserves human bodies—of 10,000 individuals were analysed. The human genome was first sequenced in India in 2006. This current endeavour may be compared, in a sense, to the preparation of the first-ever comprehensive map of India, complete with all governmental units and important geographical and topographical characteristics, rather than a global map made elsewhere that just includes India as one of numerous countries and lacks specificity. Does a nation of over a billion people consist of 10,000 individuals? Of course not. For now, however, it is the best available and serves as a fundamental template, providing a foundation for many more discoveries to come. Fighting sickness is where it is most immediately used. Geneticists in India found in 2009, as part of a global cooperation, that a significant risk of heart failure was associated with an abnormality in a protein called cardiac myosin binding protein C, or MYBPC3. Given that this problematic mutation is rare, the presence of this genetic variant in about 4% of people with Indian ancestry was greater than predicted.

With about 4,500 distinct population groupings, India’s history of endogamy-based caste systems suggests that uncommon and dangerous genetic variations that should have vanished over the course of evolution nonetheless continue to exist. At a cost of around $3 billion, the Human Genome Project released the reference “human genome” in 2003, promising a “brave-new-world” future of “personalised medicine” and the deciphering of the genome’s mysteries finally by humanity. Similar claims are made in a large portion of Genome India’s sales presentation. But such hopes have been dampened in the next decades. A single gene determines the monogenicity of only a tiny percentage of diseases. Though our understanding of how uncommon, inherited genes produced crippling disease had advanced, not much could be done since the appropriate medications, if they were found, were typically out of reach for the poor. Put differently, the process of sequencing genomes has merely revealed additional levels of intricacy. Genome India ought to surpass 10,000, but it also has to be really democratic. The findings, which might advance India’s understanding of itself, shouldn’t be kept behind closed doors in academic ivory towers. Instead, they should inspire creative partnerships involving scientists, students, digital businesses, ethicists, and social scientists.

 

 

 

Abhishek Verma

 


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