Project Launched to Map Genes of 1,000 People

Controversial international genome project
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 6:52 AM CST
Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.   (National Human Genome Research Institute)
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(Newser) – An international project to sequence the genomes of at least 1,000 people has begun at three research institutes in England, China and the US. The information gathered in the "1,000 Genomes Project " will be used to create a reference map of genetic variations. "This is going to have a profound impact on our ability to understand the risk factors underlying disease," said the director of  one of the participating centers, the National Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland.

 But some critics question how accurate the finished genomes will be, given the project's short timeline and relatively low $50 million budget, reports Nature News. They also argue that basic physical information, like weight, and data gleaned from medical records should be coordinated with genetic information to develop true clues into disease.