The Personal Genome Project, an initiative to generate DNA sequence from the genomes of the general public, has been around since 2006 or so. Spearheaded by DNA sequence guru Dr George Church, its premise is simple:
We believe individuals from the general public have a vital role to play in making personal genomes useful. We are recruiting volunteers who are willing to share their genome sequence and many types of personal information with the research community and the general public, so that together we will be better able to advance our understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to human traits.
In other words, it’s about engaging the general public in genome research, to provide background data that can help in all kinds ofmedical research. Kind of like crowd-sourced genomics.
All of this was kicked up a notch recently by the launch of the Canadian arm of the PGP, nicely profiled in a series of articles in the daily newspaper The Globe and Mail. The lead article by veteran science reporter Carolyn Abraham, entitled Would you make your DNA and health data public if it may help cure disease?, tells the story of participant “Canuck 1” – genetic counsellor Jill Davies.
View the original article here: The human genome – Canada gets personal