An effort to create a database of diseases based on the genomics of people in Ireland may be extended to Scotland, The National reports.
Genomics Medicine Ireland has been collaborating with hospitals on genomic research into diseases, such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. It also is studying the role of genetics, lifestyle factors and fitness in health.
Sean Ennis, cofounder and CSO of GMI, says that extended the work into Scotland is a possibility. "If you think about it logically, there will be only a certain amount you can discover within a population and these types of projects will have to go beyond that," he says. "It may be years down the road, but we can do it in a compatible way, we can cross-reference each other's studies from an Irish or Celtic point of view."
There are challenges to such an effort, however, including how the ethics of such population studies are handled in each territory. But if it can be carried off, the payoff could be huge, Ennis said, noting potential insights into Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.