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International consortium announces the 1000 Genomes Project

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An international research consortium today announced the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort to sequence the genomes of at least 1000 people to create the most detailed and medically useful catalogue to date of human genetic variation.

Drawing on the expertise of multi-disciplinary research teams, the map developed by the 1000 Genomes Project will provide a view of biomedically relevant DNA variations at a resolution unmatched by current resources. The European Bioinformatics Institute [EBI], working with long-term collaborator the US National Institute of Biotechnology Information [NCBI], will make the data swiftly available to the worldwide scientific community through freely available public databases. The EBI and NCBI will collect and analyse sequence generated by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China, and the USA's National Human Genome Research Institute Large-Scale Sequencing Network.

During its two-year production phase, the 1000 Genomes Project will deliver sequence at an average rate of about 8.2 billion bases per day, the equivalent of more than two human genomes every 24 hours. The volume of data - and the interpretation of those data - will pose a major challenge for leading experts in the fields of bioinformatics and statistical genetics.

It's a challenge that Paul Flicek, lead investigator on the EBI's part of the project, is eager to rise to. "The 1000 Genomes Project represents an important step in relating DNA sequence information to each individual's risk of disease and response to drugs - we're on the cusp of building an important bridge between biology and medicine," he says.

Source: EMBL Heidelberg

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