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Avesthagen, Harvard to Collaborate on Population Genetics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Avesthagen said last week that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Harvard Medical School's Department of Genetics to collaborate on population genetics research.

The Bangalore, India-based firm said that it plans to enter into a long-term collaboration with the school centered on data analysis, population structure, and other studies. Avesthagen will provide Harvard with data sets from genome-wide array experiments and other data sets from experiments analyzing population structure. It also said that it would provide genotype data from anonymized individuals.

The collaboration is part of the Avestagenome Project, a research study begun by the firm to establish linkage between genes, disease, and environmental factors.

"Our goal in this collaboration is to understand the structure of Parsi populations and the historical and genetic relationship with groups in India and elsewhere," David Reich, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. "Hopefully these analyses will be able to help in searches for genes that cause disease at unusual rates in the Parsi population."

Last year, Affymetrix said that Avesthagen would use its microarrays in conducting the Avestagenome Project.

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