Posts tagged ‘AttaurRehman’

July 1, 2011

first Pakistani to have genome mapped Dr Atta-ur-Rehman,


Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. PHOTO: FILE



MANCHESTER: Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), disclosed on Thursday that former Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rehman is the first Pakistani whose genome has been mapped by Pakistani scientists at a cost of $40,000 in just 10 months. <!–more–>


China has contributed $20,000 in the total cost of the genome project. Pakistani and Indian genomes have similarities compared to others, he said, while speaking at a press conference, held on Thursday at Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University (KU).


Dr. Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center and other faculty members were also present on the occasion.


Dr Iqbal Choudhary said that the success of our scientists on this genome project is in fact a national pride for us; they have acquired remarkable scientific achievement at a time when Pakistan is passing through a terrible time in its history.


With this historical achievement, Pakistan has taken a step forward in the genome world and joined the ranks of the few countries – the US, UK, China, Japan and India – which have successfully sequenced the human genome, he said and added that Pakistan, however, is not new in this genome world as we have already sequenced DNA of mangoes and other fruits.


“Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. The names of the first two persons are Prof Watson and Dr Ventor (2007), while others are unnamed.


Pakistan has become the sixth country, working on the genome projects after US, UK, China, Japan and India.


We need advanced equipments to further gain progress in this unique field; an institute of Genome will also be setup in the country soon. Millions of pages are required to write the details of genome and that the genome of the first American was mapped at a cost of $6b, across a ten year period,” he said.


It is pertinent to mention here that the research team, who mapped the genome, comprised of Dr Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Dr Yong Zhang, head of the genomics department at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China, one of the leading authorities  in genomics.


Dr Kamran Azim has acknowledged the fact that the complete Pakistani genome has been sequenced for the first time, and said that this research will improve the diagnosis of disease, while the earlier detection of genetic predispositions to diseases will also be a benefit of this research. He said, “The new thing in the study was 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”, he said.