BETHESDA, Md.--The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) here is set to begin collecting genetic samples from up to 1,000 people in the US in an effort to identify about 200 genes that may make humans susceptible to such environmentally associated diseases as some cancers and reproductive disorders. The effort is part of the agency's new Environmental Genome Project (see BioInform, October 13).
Project leaders recently met with researchers to get a better idea of how to proceed with the five-year effort, according to Samuel Wilson, deputy director of NIEHS. The institute expects to begin funding participating in research institutions in late 1998. Wilson noted that several companies are interested participating in the project and in using its results, but as of BioInform's press time none had formally signed on.