New resource tracks genetic variations in Han Chinese populations

New resource tracks genetic variations in Han Chinese populations

Researchers in China have cataloged genetic variations among nearly 3,000 Chinese people and constructed a comprehensive new reference genome for this population. The resource, which is called NyuWa and is freely available online , could help researchers discern the effects of genetic variants found in people with autism. “The NyuWa resource will help advance medical research in [the] Chinese population and contribute to the diversity of worldwide genetic resources,” says co-lead investigator Shunmin He , professor of bioinformatics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He and his team described NyuWa 16 November in Cell Reports . Its name is inspired by ‘NuWa,’ the mother goddess credited with creating humans in Chinese mythology, He says. He and his team collected blood samples from 2,999 people in China, across 21 provinces, 2 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities. NyuWa aims to catalog genetic variations in the entire Chinese population, but, based on the regions covered, the majority of the samples likely came from individuals of Han ethnicity, who account for 92 percent of the mainland Chinese population. The team extracted DNA from the samples for whole-genome sequencing and scanned the sequences for small insertions or deletions of DNA called indels […]

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