Con­sor­tium set to launch ge­nomics tool to study dis­ease in Africa

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Development -

IIl­lu­mina, a global leader in ge­nomics – an in­dus­try at the in­ter­sec­tion of bi­ol­ogy and tech­nol­ogy – and Hu­man Hered­ity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Ini­tia­tive are de­vel­op­ing a new ge­nomics ar­ray tool specif­i­cally for ge­nomic and epi­demi­o­log­i­cal re­search in Africa. The tool, which could en­able re­searchers to ef­fi­ciently study the ge­netic di­ver­sity of African pop­u­la­tions is ex­pected to be avail­able later in 2017.

Julie Col­lens, head of mar­ket de­vel­op­ment at Il­lu­mina, told SciDev.Net that due to the dif­fer­ences among global pop­u­la­tions in rates of in­fec­tious dis­ease risk, the abil­ity to link ge­netic find­ings in African pop­u­la­tions to spe­cific dis­eases is cru­cial in un­der­stand­ing how ge­net­ics and the en­vi­ron­ment con­trib­ute to dis­eases.

The geno­typ­ing tool will be the first ever made for the African pop­u­la­tions, which is noted to have the high­est amount of ge­netic vari­a­tions. It will fa­cil­i­tate the process of con­duct­ing genome-wide as­so­ci­a­tion stud­ies in mul­ti­ple pop­u­la­tions for dif­fer­ent traits and dis­eases.

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