Genome sequencing -- A new revolution- 100K Genome Project - Seeker's Thoughts

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Genome sequencing -- A new revolution- 100K Genome Project

Introduction: Major mission of Genome Asia 100K  
All of us begin our life as single cell, roughly the width of human hair. Within this cell of human genome, made of 3 billion bases of DNA that carries the instruction for life.
In 2001, after a decade of work involving scientists from over 16 countries, the sequence of the first human genome was completed at a cost of 3.8$ billion. Over the past decade, advance in DNA sequencing technology have made it possible to sequence a human genome for 1,000$ in a week’s time
A number of groups, using DNA sequencing have begun to catalogue variations in human populations. This has enabled us to understand human migration and population history. 

Why it is in news? 
A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k Genome Asia project, led out of the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100k Asians, including 50,000 Indians. 
India is planning a major mission to sequence the gene of a “large” group of Indians – Akin to projects in the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia – and use this improve health as  buck a global trend of designing ‘personalized medicine’ 
The ministry of health and family welfare and the department of biotechnology would be closely associated with the project. 

What are the uses of genome sequencing? 
Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping and editing of genomes. 
A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNAs, including all of its genes. Genomics also involves the sequencing and analysis of genomes through uses of high throughout DNA sequencing. 
Advances in genomics have triggered a revolution in discovery-based research and systems biology to facilitate understanding of even the most complex biological systems such as the brain. 

How it works? 
Inherited genetic disorders arise due to mutations in DNA that are passed-on at birth. Increased risk for developing breast cancer is linked to variations in genes such as BRCA1 in the genome
Sequencing an individual's genome or the tumor genome and comparing it to a reference human genome has helped identify the difference that contribute to the disease. In many cases, it has the potential to help with treatment decisions. 
In pregnant mothers, blood also contains DNA from the fetus. Scientist have developed methods that can sequence the cell-free DNA in mother’s blood to monitor the genetic health of a developing baby. 
  • -The genomics revolution has enabled sequencing a large number of organisms including bacteria, plants and animals. 
  • -While it has confirmed the common evolutionary origin of life on earth, it has provided the code for a number of life forms. 
  • -Sequencing of plants including cereals like rice and wheat has set the stage for rapid crop improvement. 
  • -Understanding genomes of livestock such as cattle goats has created a rich resource of genetic variations that can be used to produce animals with superior traits. 

100k genome project 
It aims to sequence the genomes of 100,000 infectious microorganisms to create a database of bacterial genome sequences for use in public health, outbreak detection, and bacterial pathogen detection. This will speed up the diagnosis detection. This will speed up the diagnosis of foodborne illnesses and shorten infectious disease outbreaks. The 100k genome project will provide a roadmap for developing tests to identify pathogens and travel their origins more quickly. 
Project set out to map genetic variations in human across the world sequenced 1,092 individuals from 14 populations. The resulting 20,000 GB bases of raw data will be basis for understanding of human genetic variations. 

Implications for India 
To get gain from the genomics revolution, India needs to collect information about the genetics of its population and train manpower capable of interpreting it. 
The information that is needed has to come from a large and sustained collection of data—fully sequenced individual genomes along with medical histories for the individuals who volunteer for this effort. 

Benefits of genomics  
This could be beneficial to detecting disease quickly, used for genetic counselling could reduce their incidence in future generation.  
With large samples the techniques of “genome-wide association studies” that compare genomes of cases and controlled could be used to identify genetic risks factors related to common diseases like heart disease. 
The data collected as part of these efforts will be also help uncover the basic biological function of genes and their interactions, which are not yet fully understood. 
This knowledge will be useful to humanity worldwide and also offer India a chance to claim a piece of the global medical and scientific frontier.