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October 27, 2005

Everybody Play Nice
Science , Technology
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    There are several reasons why it's amazing that scientists have completed the map of human genetic variation.

    Firstly, there's the science part. This not only a window into how and why human variety exists the way we see it today, but also human history. As these scientists examine populations from around the globe, the migration patterns of early humans become clearer than ever. They have traced the origin of the species to Africa, using evidence still found in modern African populations' DNA as compared that of populations of other geographic areas.

    Then, there's the part where it's a key to fighting disease:

    Although any two unrelated people are the same at about 99.9% of their DNA sequences, the remaining 0.1% is important because it contains the genetic variants that influence how people differ in their risk of disease or their response to drugs. Discovering the DNA sequence variants that contribute to common disease risk offers one of the best opportunities for understanding the complex causes of disease in humans. -- hapmap.org

    Lastly, and most heartwarmingly, there's the cooperation part. This project is a collaboration among scientists from Japan, the UK, Canada, China, the US and Nigeria, which is why the site is viewable in English, Japanese, Chinese and Yoruba. The map is free. You can download it from the web site. This is working together, folks. This is the kind of sharing unhindered by patents and profits, and funded by the government. Now, if only we could expand these humanitarian efforts and concept of sharing into the arena of, say, the Oil for Food Program.

    Full Article: New DNA Map Will Help Find Bad Genes
    (Via Slashdot)

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    Cheeky Monkey

    Posted by MostlyForMe at October 27, 2005 1:35 PM