Sunday, December 12, 2004

Consortium Hopes to Map Human History in Asia

Science -- Normile 306 (5702): 1667a -- "Consortium Hopes to Map Human History in Asia": (subscription required.)

"Researchers from 11 Asian countries and regions have forged a landmark agreement to study genetic diversity throughout Asia. Describing their goal as a 'genetic map of human history in Asia,' they intend to collect blood samples from their populations and analyze them for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)--sites where a single nucleotide in the genome sequence varies from one individual to another. In addition to hinting at the patterns of migration and settlement throughout the continent, the map could be a step toward identifying genetic characteristics associated with certain diseases.

"'We are aware that scientifically, the impact of this work may be considered by some as incremental. But we are convinced that this heralds the rise of Asian biosciences,' says Edison Liu, executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore and one of the key organizers of the effort."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting and potentially important project. Asian scientists have always sought interactions with western institutions and often view Asian entities as competitors. Moreover, most Asian countries save Japan do not have resources to fund projects across borders. This would be one of the major biomedical projects initiated and sustained by a Pan-Asian membership not led or conceived of by a western institution. I certainly hope that this project will be successful. It would be the beginning of truly Asian branding of science.