Mexican HapMap Project

Mexico has launched its own genome project:

Mexico has launched a racebased genome project to determine if a genetic basis exists for its growing health crisis. The goal is to glean insights into genetic differences, believed to be unique to its population, that may play a key role in chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes and hypertension.

…The Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genomica (National Genomic Medicine Institute of Mexico, or INMEGEN) will manage the resulting ‘Mexican HapMap’…According to Gerardo Jimenez, director of INMEGEN and the new collaboration, INMEGEN will begin by sampling individuals in six remote regions of Mexico to construct a consensus genetic map that fits the entire Mexican mestizo population, a mixture of Europeans (mainly Spaniards) and Indians. The first objective is to determine if every block of nucleic acid sequence will be alike for all the Mexican groups. “My own prediction,” says Jimenez, “is that we are not going to find huge differences.”

INMEGEN will release newly mined genomic data into the public domain as fast as technology allows, but Jimenez is quick to point out that the measure of the project’s success is not the science, but rather the medicines that come out of it. He also envisions the initiative—the largest genotyping study ever launched in Latin America—having value beyond his country’s borders, informing public health research and drug discovery throughout mestizo countries. To that end, INMEGEN will seek alliances with other Latin American regions in the near future.

Stephen Herrera, Mexico launches bold genome project, Nature Biotechnology. September 2005. (sorry subscribers only) BUT see here!

INMEGEN homepage.

Resource: Genomics and Public Health

North Carolina Institute for Public Health has created a web resource, The Genomics Revolutions and Public Health.

Genomics and Public Health Guide

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), has published Genomics: A Guide for Public Health.  According to their monthly newsletter, Genomics Impact, the guide:

provides public health professionals with an overview of genomics and its impact on public health. The guide examines the importance of integrating genomics into public health and provides snapshots of state and local health agencies’ efforts to incorporate genomics into their programs. The CD-ROM contains resources, such as web links, documents, and modifiable presentations that can be used to assist state and local health agencies with their efforts to integrate genomics into public health activities.

For more information see the guide’s companion website.