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An Initiative to Reduce Genetic Disorders(IANS)
27 January 2009
HYDERABAD — In an attempt to take the fruits of biotechnology to the common man and reduce the burden of genetic disorders such as thalassaemia and muscular dystrophies, the Genome Foundation here will set up diagnostic centres across rural India with the first such centre coming up in Uttar Pradesh.
The first satellite centre will come up in Jaunpur district, Genome Foundation head Lalji Singh told IANS. The centres will offer molecular diagnostic services, chromosomal analysis, prenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling.
DNA profiling and related services for civil and forensic purposes such as paternity disputes, immigration matters, mass disaster and wildlife will also be offered. The centres will also screen and counsel for common disorders such as the thalassaemia and muscular dystrophies, with the initial focus being on pre-natal diagnosis tracking genetic disorders of an unborn child. A non-profit organisation formed in 2006, Genome is an initiative of scientists, industry, doctors and concerned citizens. It invites every citizen to donate at least Re 1 and ‘so the Foundation is by the people and for the people’, said Singh, a founder-member, adding that it is a first of its kind initiative in the world.
Eminent economist C. Rangarajan is the chairman. Singh, who is also director of the the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, said the first centre would become operational in a few months while the second would be set up in Kolar, Karnataka. The main centre in Hyde-rabad and its branches will test various kinds of genetic disorders.