FeatureMedicine

Qatar's genome effort slowly gears up

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Science  09 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6317, pp. 1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6317.1220

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Summary

Like neighboring Saudi Arabia, the small, oil- and gas-rich country of Qatar has ambitious plans to sequence the DNA of many thousands of its citizens, hoping ultimately to provide them with better health care. The Qatar Genome Programme (QGP) announced in late 2013 set a controversial goal of sequencing the complete genomes of all 300,000 native Qataris. QGP collaborators have now sequenced the full genomes of 3000 generally healthy citizens for a pilot project. Local and expat researchers from Qatari institutions are planning more than a dozen studies based on these initial DNA sequences, which were completed in June. But so far, no outside researchers have gotten their hands on the information, as QGP officials and scientists wrestle over data access issues.