Making it easier to see the difference between defective and healthy genes in Denmark

It will be easier to diagnose genetically determined diseases in Denmark now that researchers at Aarhus University, the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark have mapped the first full individual genomes of 30 out of 150 ordinary Danes. To top it off, they have achieved a very high quality, and thereby reached the first benchmark in mapping the ‘Danish genome’.

2015.01.20 | Peter F. Gammelby

The Genome DK HPC HUB supercomputer at Aarhus University was used for a considerable part of the data processing in connection with mapping the Danish genome. Professor Anders Børglum, Department of Biomedicine (right), is seen here with Professor Mikkel Heide Schierup, Bioinformatics Research Centre (BiRC). Photo: Aarhus University

The sequencing makes it possible to analyse in detail the individual genetic differences among the Danes and it provides a good starting point for the individual treatment of patients in the future.
This large-scale project was undertaken by GenomeDenmark, the Danish platform funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The initial results have just been published in the internationally recognised journal Nature Communications.

DNA research applications have exploded during the last decade. This means that it is now easier to analyse and build on genomic differences, thereby providing more precise treatment for individual patients.

Now that GenomeDenmark has mapped the first full individual genomes of 30 out of 150 ordinary Danes – and having achieved a very high quality – an important element in this development has now fallen into place. The full ‘hereditary mass’ is known as the genome, and it contains genes and areas that are important for regulating which genes should be active in certain cells in the body at particular times. The genes and their regulatory areas are thought to make up about half of the genome, but the significance of large parts of the rest of the genome is still largely unknown.

Read more about this milestone in Danish genetic research in the joint media release here (in Danish only). Read more details at GenomeDenmark (PDF file in Danish only).

Science and Technology, BiRC, Public / media