Sponsored by the Human Genome Organization and Affymetrix, the pan-Asian project is expected to begin in the middle of 2005. The study will examine 50,000 SNPs in each study participant and will focus particularly on genetic differences that affect health. It will use SNP microarray technology made by Affymetrix, combined with semi-conductor manufacturing technology.
"The study will give scientists a 'genetic map' of human history in Asia, showing how nearly half of the world's population migrated throughout the region and settled to form the distinct cultures that we know today," said Edison Liu, executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore.
Participating countries include China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.