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Human Genetics and Genome Analysis
wwThe year 1990 saw one gripping discipline gatecrash into the world of science. It was the Human Genome Project  which opened up to the world the exciting vista of genomics. The Department of Biotechnology did not take long to initiate a major programme on Human Genetics & Genome Analysis during 1990-91. This aimed to provide genetic diagnosis and counselling to families affected by common genetic disorders in India; and make available human genome sequences to usher in improved molecular medicine tools.

The Journey So Far

Twenty-one Genetic Diagnosis-cum-Counselling Units have been established.So far, about more than 5 lakhs affected families, including more than 12,000 tribal families have benefited from diagnosis and counseling services for common genetic disorders such as thalassemia, sickle cell disease, DMD, haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, etc. Under the Functional Genomics Programme at the Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, Delhi, during 1997-98, established good linkages with clinicians in the three major areas i.e. spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and asthma.

India is one of the first countries to take up a project on Human Genome Diversity under the Human Genetics programme of DBT. A major consortium project has been implemented at Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata in November, 1999. DNA typing of 25 autosomal markers in 53 ethnic groups (tribal, caste and religious communities) of India has been completed. This study also provided evidence of human migration from India to South-East Asia. It has revealed that the expansion of the ethnic population took place about 50,000 years ago.



Dr. Suchita Ninawe
Adviser and Group Head
Ph.No.: 011 24363722
Email: sninawe[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in