Dubai, UAE: The Ministry of Health and Prevention unveiled the UAE Human Genome Project to harness the power of genetic science and adopt modern and innovative techniques on DNA profiling and gene sequencing.
The government strives to create a genome database and reference dictionary for all genetic diseases in the UAE as the world begins to enter a new era of genetic medicine in which DNA profiling and genome sequencing will be used as an important tool for clinical care.
According to Al Muhairi, the government is planning to develop a genetic lab that will help keep medical records and genetic map of Emirati population. “It will only happen through the cooperation of universities and other medical centers. The lab will also provide genetic services to expats,” she said.
As a healthcare tool, both will become the basis of diagnosis for genetic and non-communicable diseases to come up with better therapeutic solutions. The strategy is seen to significantly impact the UAE’s health policy.
“We will test if people are at risk of diabetes, blood pressure or cancer and explore the genes causing such risks. Early intervention and healthcare services will make sure we generate healthier future generations,” said Al Muhairi.
The ministry made a study on molecular genetics in Dubai, covering common diseases prevalent in UAE society such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Its objective was to find ways on how to accurately diagnose illnesses so as to make an appropriate treatment that can reduce mortality rate.
Al Muhairi said promising results were reported through a series of genome analysis of samples taken from young people infected with hereditary diabetes to determine its genetic causes and subsequently identify the appropriate treatment.
The ministry examined 56 types of cancer-causing genes to provide early and appropriate treatment in a timely manner, in addition to studying congenital malformations of children due to a rare genetic disease to detect genes responsible for the disease and help families have healthy children.
The genome project
Human Genome Project aims at harnessing the power of genetic science and adopt modern and innovative techniques on DNA profiling and gene sequencing.
By identifying genetic fingerprints, the project seeks to prevent the spread of non-communicable diseases in the country, including obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, and asthma, through the use of genetic factors as a basis for developing personalised treatment for each patient.
© Khaleej TimesJan 2017