Pakistani scientists have mapped genome of the first Pakistani,

Pakistani scientists succeed in mapping genome
Karachi, Pakistani scientists have mapped genome of the first Pakistani, while with this historical achievement, Pakistan joins the ranks of the few countries – the US, UK, China, Japan and India – which have successfully sequenced the human genome.

Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi (KU) and Beijing Genomics Institute, China, have jointly mapped genome of the first Pakistani, living in Karachi.

Pakistan has become the first country in the Muslim World as well that has mapped genome of a first Muslim man.

This historical announcement was made by Prof Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), KU, while talking to a group of scientists at ICCBS. He said that the first Pakistani genome had been mapped using a newly developed technology ten years after the first human genome was discovered. The PCMD, working under the umbrella ICCBS, had reported mapping of the entire genome of a Pakistani male in just 10 months.

The individual who has been genetically mapped is a resident of Karachi, he added.

“According to the researchers, the newly-sequenced Pakistani genome has uncovered a multitude of ‘Pakistan’-specific sites which can now be used in design of large-scale studies that are better suited for the Pakistani population. The research team was comprised of Dr Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Dr Yong Zhang, head of the genomics department at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China; among world leading genomics institutions,” he said.

Acknowledging the fact that the complete Pakistani genome has been sequenced for the first time Dr Azim said, “The new thing in the study is the technique which can trace back a mutation to the specific parent. We are still studying the actual genome data itself and how the genetic differences we identified may predispose this particular individual to certain diseases”.

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