NEW YORK, April 16 - The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences today announced the completion of the initial phase of the environmental genome project, which was initiated in 1998.
The project aims to identify the genetic variations among individuals in the human genome that confer susceptibility to environmental agents. The first phase has focused on polymorphic variants in genes, mainly targeting those that regulate DNA repair and the cell cycle. Researchers have re-sequenced and catalogued 200 environmentally-responsive genes.
The first phase of the research has also produced a public database of human DNA variation, studies of human haplotypes, and comparative mouse genome centers for developing mouse models for functional analysis of human environmentally-associated disease genes.
The second phase of the project will include polymorphism discovery in gene regulating metabolism, signal transduction, and apoptosis and will include the re-sequencing of 554 genes.