Saturday, October 8, 2011

Faroe Islands' FarGen Project to Sequence Genomes of Entire Population

The Faroe Islands, a territory within Denmark, has plans to sequence the genomes of each of its 50,000 inhabitants in a new project titled FarGen. A pilot program will begin with 100 people, and the entire project is expected to cost $47 million. The project aims to connect each individual's genome with their health records and to make this information available, with certain restrictions, to physicians. This project is especially supported on the Faroe Islands due to the high percentage of genetic disease among their population. The project will also develop a genomics education program throughout the nation to "address the issue of informed consent." Eliasen, of the Faroese Ministry of Health who announced this project, explained "if successful… the Faroe Islands could serve as a global model for implementing whole-genome sequencing into a healthcare system."

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