NIH to Fund Map on ‘Slight’ Variations of Human Genome
The NIH intends to invest between $40 million and $70 million in a two-year effort to map the "slight differences between people's genes" that scientists believe account for why some people are more likely than others to get certain diseases or have adverse reactions to drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new map is expected to "increase the speed with which scientists can develop practical applications for the new information gleaned through" the map of the human genome, the Journal reports. NIH wants to build on a map that looks at the combinations of differences in SNPs, the smallest single unit of a gene, Francis Collins, director of the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute, said. Collins added that he is in the process of determining the project's methodology and financing, which is "likely to involve" the Wellcome Trust in Great Britain and the British government. The Journal reports that a consortium of pharmaceutical companies -- including Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hoffman-La Roche -- also is working on an SNP map (Anand, Wall Street Journal, 6/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.