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Asthma genome project focuses on African-Americans

Report of a story in the news   |   By Dr Philippa Brice   |   Published 7 January 2012

Source: Press release

A new research project seeks to understand better the genetic variants that affect the risk of developing asthma, and particularly why African-Americans are affected more than other ethnic groups. 

Based at Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US, and supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the research will involve whole genome sequencing of 500 asthmatic and 500 non-asthmatic people. Sequencing company Illumina is to provide customised DNA microarrays to identify key genetic variants common to African-Americans that may be linked with disease risk.

Lead researcher Dr Kathleen Barnes says the project is “an exciting opportunity to disentangle the genetic basis of a host of other diseases, not just asthma, which have a hereditary component and uniquely or disproportionately affect minorities”.

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