Mission accomplished: Researchers successfully sequence Vietnamese human genome

Thanh Nien News

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A group of Vietnamese researchers have sequenced and analyzed the complete genomes of three members in a Vietnamese family, claiming that it was the most comprehensive study in the country so far.
This put Vietnam among 20 countries that have successfully sequenced the human genomes of their peoples, according to state media. 
The findings, believed to be valuable to future large-scale studies on Vietnamese population and diseases, were announced in the March issue of the prominent Journal of Biosciences by the Indian Academy of Science, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday. 
It said the 12 researchers, most of whom from universities in Hanoi, started analyzing a Vietnamese’s genetic data in 2013 before extending the work to cover the genomes of a father, a mother and a child of a Vietnamese family last year. The expansion was expected to make the study’s results more precise.
The anonymous subjects of the study belong to the Kinh ethnic group, which makes up more than 80 percent of Vietnam’s population.
According to the researchers, their study has revealed a large number of genetic variants specific to Kinh Vietnamese people, and part of the variants were closer to those of Asian populations, including Chinese and Japanese, than the African and European peoples.
Specifically, the study’s subjects showed more genetic variants in common with Chinese than with Japanese, they said.
The researchers suggested further genome studies on not only Kinh but also other ethnic groups in the country to complete the picture of human genome variations for Vietnam.
In the meantime, they planned to collaborate with local hospitals in developing systems that allow doctors to diagnose and analyze diseases on the basis of genome analysis, according to the report.
Kinh Vietnamese genomes were previously included in international research called The 1000 Genomes Project, but generated data was considered as being of low-coverage and inclining to produce high frequency or common variants.

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