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Small Island Nation to Sequence Genome of Entire Population for Free

Though currently only partially sponsored by genome sequencing company Illumina, the small island nation of the Faroe Islands, a self-governing dependency of Denmark, is aiming to offer free full genome sequencing for each one of its 50,000 citizens. Though the project is still seeking to fill out the sponsorship, the nation is expected to go through with it, rather than this being some kind of pipe dream. The project is expected to cost up to $50 million and take five years to complete.

The project’s main goal is to provide better medical care to its citizens, but would also have the benefit of providing information for medical research. Another benefit of the sequence is that around one fourth of the population of the nation are carriers of a gene responsible for Carnitine Transporter Deficiency, a disorder that messes up the metabolism in young children and infants, which has the potential to lead to heart failure. An initial part of the project has already begun, in which 100 adults will have their genes sequenced in an effort to help the program figure out how exactly to do the rest of the nation.

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(via Medical Xpress)

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