India a ‘genetically secular’ country: study

April 25th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Genes found among Indians have similarity with genes found among Europeans, Australians, Americans and others across the globe, says a mega study released Friday by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). CSIR, the top scientific body of India, has found in the study that the “genetic landscape of Indian population captures the genetic diversity of the world”.

“Indian population forms a continuum of genetic spectrum bridging the two distinct HapMap populations, the Caucasians and the Oriental Asians,” said CSIR Director General Sameer Brahmachari.

“India is a microcosm of the world and the current findings only enforce that India is a genetically secular country,” Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said after unveiling the study.

Scientists said the finding will help India design drug response and disease predisposition maps for the country and for the world.

“This will help in deciding drug response and provide a place where clinical trials for world population on several diseases can be conducted,” said Partha P. Majumder, director of Institute of Molecular Medicine.

Brahmachari said several diseases like AIDS, malaria, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and cancer can be mapped and drug effectiveness measured with the help of the fresh findings.

“A better management of disease situation and control can be achieved with the help from these findings,” he said

Brahmachari said the study is the largest scientific endeavour in the field of genetic landscaping.

Over 150 scientists from six CSIR laboratories across India have generated information on over 4,000 genetic markers from over 1,000 biomedically important and pharmacogenetically relevant genes. The study is an outcome of four years of labour by Indian scientists.

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