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Title: Unravelling The Human Genome: An Indian Breakthrough
Authors: Datta, Sukanya
Issue Date: Jan-2010
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract:  Scientists at the Indian Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), CSIR have successfully mapped the first complete and entirely Indian genome. The breakthrough holds potential to usher in the era of affordable and predictive healthcare.
WITH the first sequencing of the entire genome of a human being, India has finally made its way into an extremely elite Scientific Club. The only countries until now that had mapped the entire genetic material of a human being—the Human Genome—are the USA, UK, China, Canada and Korea. This giant step forward was made possible by CSIR scientists working at the Indian Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi who used genetic matter sourced from a healthy male to present the first complete and entirely Indian genome. This un-named Indian male is from Jharkhand and is in his early fifties, is 167 cm tall and weighs a modest 52 kg. But then, this is only the beginning. Rajesh S. Gokhale, Director, IGIB has expressed the desire to sequence ten other Indian genomes shortly. The first Indian human genome sequencing (determining the exact order of the base pairs in a segment of DNA) not only marks a national milestone but also sets the stage for India’s entry into personal genomics, opening up new possibilities in disease diagnostics and treatment. Of course, it could take more than a decade before the fruits of this labour really start flowing in (see Interview with Dr Rajesh Gokhale). This would also open up new opportunities for affordable healthcare in India.
Page(s): 8-15
ISSN: 0036-8512
Appears in Collections:SR Vol.47(01) [January 2010]

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