|Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:38 pm Post subject: Largest study of Indian genetic variation underway
Largest study of Indian genetic variation underway
Washington, Dec 22 (UNI):
The genetic variations in India’s population are mind-boggling, and though they account for one sixth’s of the world’s entire population, they have so far been underrepresented in studies related to genetic diseases.
But now, all that is going to change. A team of researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), and the University of Michigan, have conducted genetic analysis of India-born individuals in the US and begun to shed light on the genetic variations of the diverse population of India.
Pragna I. Patel, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the USC and and Noah Rosenberg, assistant professor in the department of Human Genetics at University of Michigan analyzed 1,200 genome-wide polymorphisms collected from 432 individuals representing 15 different Indian populations.
According to them, this study represents the largest study of Indian genetic variation performed to date, in terms of the total
The team found that populations from India, and more generally, South Asia, make up one of the major human ancestry groups, with relatively little genetic differentiation among the Indian populations.
‘‘These results still suggest that the frequencies of many genetic variants are distinctive in India compared to other parts of the world,’’ the researchers wrote in their study in the Dec 22 online issue of the Public Library of Sciences (PLoS).
‘‘We were struck both by the low level of diversity amongst people spanning such a large geographical region, and by the fact that people of the Indian sub-continent constituted a distinct group when compared to populations from other parts of the world,’’ Patel added.
Her group is now using this study as a foundation for future studies on the genetic basis of various common diseases in Asian Indians-such as heart disease, which is highly prevalent in this population.