SHENZHEN, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The 1,000 Genomes Project, which aims to produce an extensive catalog of human genetic variations, started to release data from a pilot phase Monday.
The project, a collaboration started in 2008 among research groups in the U.S., the United Kingdom, China and Germany, would support medical research and throw new light on human evolution, said Wang Jun, project coordinator of the Chinese party and also deputy head of the Shenzhen Branch of the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI).
More than 50 trigabites of 8,000 billion base pairs of human DNA had been mapped and included in a public database, he said.
Researchers could gain free access to the data through three websites, including the 1,000 Genomes website (www.1000genomes.org), Wang said.
When completed, the database would contain human genetic information from the genomes of 2,500 people from 27 populations around the world.
BGI is responsible for mapping the genomes of 400 people of Mongoloid races and participants from the African populations.
Wang said the pilot project phase comprised three parts:
-- detailed comprehensive mapping of the genomes of six people from two core families;
-- less detailed comprehensive mapping of the genomes of 179 people;
-- mapping of the 1,000 genome exon (a DNA sequence that codes information for protein synthesis) of 700 people.
The results helped to evaluate the efficiency and effect of different mapping strategies. They will also help researchers to look closer at the genomes associated with human diseases.