The Genomic Medicine Institute at Seoul National University has completed the genome maps of five Korean men and five women. This is the most extensive genome analysis in the world.
Researchers abroad have been competing to find new breakthroughs in genome research since 2003, but each of those studies analyzed just one person, making it difficult to treat their findings as standard data.
The completion of the GMI research is expected to pave the way for new treatments for diseases and hereditary conditions affecting Koreans. Also, studies of the ethnic origin of the Korean people are expected to get a boost from the genome maps.
The GMI plans to make the data available to other researchers through the Korean Bioinformation Center.
The latest genome maps are the result of a joint project called the "Asian Genome Road" by the GMI and the Chosun Ilbo. It aims to track the migratory paths of Asian peoples by analyzing the genome maps of men and women from nine Asian countries, and use the data to find new treatments for diseases affecting people in the region. Researchers involved in the project will analyze genome information gathered from 918 people from nine countries, including Korea, India, Kazhakstan, Turkey and Vietnam over the next year.