Genome sequencing to map population diversity

  1. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has planned to roll out a major mission to sequence the genes of a 1,000 rural youth across India. The project aims at educating a generation of students on the significance of genomics.
  2. The project is an adjunct to an Indian government-led programme which is still in the works. In 2018, at the 1st Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) meeting, it was decided that India would a major mission to sequence the genes of a large group of Indians. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Biotechnology would be closely associated with the project.
  3. In this context it is worth mentioning that the GenomeAsia 100K Initiative based in Singapore plans to sequence 100,000 Asian genomes, including some from South Asia. A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with the project.
  4. Genome sequencing means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called “bases” – that make up the DNA molecule. Genome sequencing helps to understand how genes work together to direct the growth, development and maintenance of an organism. It helps to determine unique genetic traits, susceptibility and resilience to diseases.