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Avesthagen to Build Genomic Database of Parsi Population

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - An Indian biotech company plans to work with other partners to create a genomic database of the Parsi Zoroastrians, small, relatively genetically homogeneous population. 
 
Avestha Gengraine of Bangalore said last week it will use genomic analyzers from Sequenom and Applied Biosystems' sequencers on samples collected from the community to "build a complete genetic, genealogical and medical database of the Parsis."
 
The company also said it will use its bioinformatic resources in the project, and will help fund it with seed capital.
 
Avesthagen said the Parsi population numbers around 69,000 in India, and has long discouraged marriage outside of the community.
 
The company said it hopes to use information drawn from the project, called AvestaGenome, for therapeutic ends in particular, because genetically isolated populations can offer more accurate links between genes and diseases. 
 
Avestha said the project is expected to cost around $28 million and may be complete in about five years. 

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