Estonian Genome Project Reaches 50,000 Goal

15.12.2010 09:22
Category: Sci-Tech

The Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu has been completed, after reaching its goal of gathering genetic data from 50,000 Estonians.

Now, the next step is to develop within five years a personalized medical industry, specialized to fit the unique characteristics of each individual. Soon, doctors will be able to base their diagnoses on a specific individual's genetic data, reported ETV.

"By that time, genetic analysis will be of equal value to other analyses used in hospitals today for diagnosis,“ said the Genome Center's director, Andres Metspalu. The biotechnology professor said his institution is unique in Europe, thus creating a lot of interest abroad.

The Genome Center method to gather high-quality data in a short time period has led to the project's inclusion in many international studies, Metspalu explained.

This year the organization compiled genetic tests from 20,000 individuals. Comprising data from 5 percent of adult Estonians, only Iceland has gathered more genetic information per capita. Experts say there is enough study material to last a quarter century.

Genetic testing centers in Tartu and Tallinn will remain open to donors.

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