Starting this spring, Americans across the country will be invited to contribute to a massive new pool of genomic information being assembled by the government, a project that represents the most ambitious effort yet to capitalize on the promising new frontier of gene-based medicine.
Three years after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first announced its Precision Medicine Initiative — subsequently redubbed “All of Us” — the agency’s director, Francis Collins, says the large-scale project is ready to expand beyond its initial testing stages. In early spring, on a date yet to be announced, NIH is planning a nationwide launch to start enrolling what it hopes will eventually be as many as 1 million participants.
The program’s aim is to essentially compile the world’s largest genetic library intended to be widely available to scientists and researchers. This rich collection of DNA information is designed to assist scientists and researchers exploring the genetic basis for all sorts of health conditions — and those working to develop targeted therapies calibrated to an individual’s genetic makeup instead of the traditional one-size-fits-all approach.
You can read the full story by Paige Winfield Cunningham in the Washington Post at: http://wapo.st/2FSyUoM.
NOTE: Most genealogists who have had their DNA tested have only had ancestry-related information extracted. While the National Institutes of Health probably will also be interested in those markers, the primary purpose of the new Precision Medicine Initiative is to help consumers prevent or mitigate serious diseases such as diabetes or breast cancer. As such, many additional markers will be needed. In other words, the typical genealogy DNA test is not able to supply all the information the NIH is seeking.