Two decades after the Human Genome Project, genomics has a long way to go in optimizing healthcare, fairness, and research, especially in Africa, where only 2% of its genome is analyzed. According to a new work, to understand the genetic variation of all humans on the African continent, it is necessary to sequence the genomes of about 3 million people.
This Human Genome Project (PGH) ended in April 2003. Although it has completely changed medical knowledge, its benefits are rarely felt in Africa.One new job, Published in the magazine this week naturalEmphasize that the project is focused on Population of high-income countries This is not conducive to the global understanding of the world’s health and disease.
A) Yes Less than 2% of the human genome Analyzed so far African people,according to Research published in cell It’s 2019. Although the fact is that Africa, where humans originated, has more genetic diversity than any other continent.
in order to Ambrose WonkamAn expert from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the author of this review article said: “Due to the inequality of the health system and where labor is scarce, the knowledge and application of genomics has little benefit to the south of the world. Research And lack of funds”.
Wonnkam leads the African Society of Human Genetics (Antibody), he was established in 2003, committed to Fix the gap, Improve education, promote the creation of networks and build research capabilities on the African continent.
“It is necessary to accurately diagnose thousands of single-gene diseases, predict the disease risk of the most common complex diseases, tailor treatment methods according to individual pharmacogenetic characteristics, and potentially cure certain pathologies through gene editing, and study Africa The ancestral genome mutation is a scientific imperative,” he explained to SINC.
“Furthermore, for African researchers, fair access to data and the application of genetic medicine related to the health problems of these populations is essential for African genomics to reach its full potential, which is the next frontier of medicine. “He added. .
“This will require the international scientific community to make a commitment to fair cooperation; African researchers continue to say that major global funding agencies have made ongoing commitments to support genomics and big data-driven research.” H3 Africa They have sowed the seeds for capacity building. “
The problem is that many genome studies in Africa have Driven by European and American researchersIn the words of Wonkam, “those priorities” may be far from the needs and needs of the continent’s population.
Experts stated that in order to understand the overall situation of human genetic variation in Africa, it is necessary to sequence the genomes of approximately 3 million people across the African continent: Three Million African Genomes (3MAG) This may mean providing medical care and research capabilities to Africa, responding to public health challenges in a more equitable manner, and contributing knowledge to benefit the disadvantaged.
African genome, rarely in research
African genome sequencing studies also show that the reference genome lacks many of the variants found on the continent. Wonkam pointed out that the goal of 3MAG is to “sequence the entire African genome to establish a representative reference human genome and build a pan-African biobank that includes clinical samples and information.”
He continued: “Once these technical challenges are overcome, it is possible to find a connection between ancient African DNA mutations and human characteristics or diseases, thereby providing insights that benefit modern humans around the world.”
This project can improve the reliability of genetic risk scores for people of African descent under common conditions (such as cardiomyopathy). In addition, it is easier to find some knowledge about disease inheritance in the African population, which has more genetic variation than any other continent.
For example, research with Africans has helped clarify the underlying mechanisms of diabetes and schizophrenia. Other research supports the successful treatment of dyslipidemia associated with myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident.
Similarly, two experts from the National Human Genome Institute Charles Rotimi with Adebowale AdeyemoThey pointed out that additional priorities for increasing genomics diversity are emphasized in the attached article: “Improve our understanding of human genetic diversity, help discover disease genes and promote our understanding of human biology.”
Human Genome Project, knowledge enclave
other Submission The same amount natural,team Albert-László BarabásiSince 2001, researchers from Northeastern University in Boston have tracked the impact of the draft human genome on genomics, and studied the genetic roots of human diseases, drug discovery and approval, and the genes themselves.
In this way, the analysis successfully combined 704,515 scientific publications as of 2017 with 38,546 RNA transcripts, approximately one million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and 1,660 human species with documented genetic roots. Diseases and 7,712 approved and experimental drugs are linked.
“These results reflect the emergence of a biological system perspective. They concluded that after 20 years of research under the Human Genome Project, biologists now have a vision for the structure and dynamics of the networks that define life.
Ambroise Wonkam “Comment: Sequencing 3 million genomes in Africa”. natural, February 10, 2021. DOI 10.1038 / d41586-021-00313-7
Albert-László Barabási (Albert-László Barabási). “Comment: Based on a large number of discoveries from the Human Genome Project.” natural, February 10, 2021. DOI 10.1038 / d41586-021-00314-6