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East London Genome Project

UK researchers are launching an effort, called East London Genes and Health, to sequence some 100,000 people of South Asian descent living in London, the Guardian reports.

Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in London, the Guardian adds, are poor and have high rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, though there are people within the groups who are quite healthy and may have genes that make them resilient.

"It's a big opportunity to improve people's health and health in East London," study investigator David van Heel at Queen Mary University of London tells ScienceInsider.

The study is receiving £4 million from the Wellcome Trust and the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council.

The researchers will be recruiting people of Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin, aged 16 and older, to give saliva and allow researchers to access their health records, ScienceInsider says. The Sanger Institute, it adds, has agreed to sequence the exomes of the first 25,000 volunteers and the Broad Institute will aid in analyzing the results.

"My hope is that through participating people will begin to have a greater awareness of their health," an East End GP, Anwar Ali Khan, tells the Guardian.