Scanning genomes, Turkish scientists look for cures, answers for longevity


The Turkish Genome Project launched by Health Ministry will scan 100,000 genomes in next three years to examine the Turkish public's DNA map that will help devise measures to prevent certain diseases and find answers to longevity peculiar to some regions.

The Country's Directorate of Health Institutes (TÜSEB) runs the project. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), TÜSEB President Professor Fahrettin Keleştemur says the discovery of human genomes has been revolutionary for health sciences and it would help them to find new cures and a better understanding of genetic anomalies. "We have no knowledge of the genetic structure of the Turkish society, so, we don't know what is normal or abnormal in terms of diseases prevalent in Turkey. The Turkish Genome Project has two goals; mapping out our genetic structure and finding out reasons behind prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer or reasons behind longevity in a certain population group," he says.

By the end of 2018, researchers will scan 1,500 genomes and wrap up their analysis and reporting and in the next three years; work on 100,000 genomes will be concluded. "The project will help develop new treatment and diagnosis methods. For instance, we will be able to supply right medication for right patient in right time," he says. The project will also provide answers on the causes of uncommon diseases in the country.

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