Genomics Applications for the Developing World

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Producers, breeders and scientists have continued their efforts to find a trade-off between the productivity and adaptability of animals for vertical increase of farm produces while addressing issues related to impacts of animal farming on the environment. Current limitations in genetic improvement systems in developing countries are poor animal identification, lack of pedigree and performance data collection for sire and bull mother selection and unfocussed use of crossbreeding. There is therefore a strong need for improving the genetic evaluation system and the dissemination of superior genetics through artificial insemination AI.

A comprehensive storage and management of genomic and performance data would enable AI centres to establish a data flow system and increase interactions with farmers and thus compare and improve performance of sires they commercialise in different production systems. Today science offers several opportunities whose concerted applications would bring positive changes in conventional animal breeding, especially in developing countries.

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For examples, 1 application of AI coupled with radioimmunoassay of hormones to ensure successful mating and thus to increase manifolds the dissemination of desired genetics, 2 nuclear and nuclear-derived molecular techniques for genetic characterization of animals and identification of marker s that drives favourable traits from parents to offspring, 3 radio-frequency identification RFID system for the identification of animals with high accuracy and reduced risk of duplications and facilitating data flow among laboratories, farms and breeders and 4 database applications and software to manage, analyse and make report from large datasets involving genomics, phenotypes and their possible interactions.

But these activities have been performed mostly on demand. Validation of genomic tools through adaptive research has been felt strongly during implementation of the IAEA TC projects. New technologies permit the characterization of the genome with markers at a decreasing cost.

In developed countries the use of genomic tools is rapidly increasing and resulting in efficient genetic improvement programmes. Now it is time to coalesce tested tools and methods for the validation of technologies through adaptive research to the needs of developing countries for a rapid, vertical growth in animal productivity. Low cost genomic tools for parentage testing are available and can be adapted for use in developing countries, and are required for genetic improvement programmes.

It is possible to develop low cost genomic tools for measuring breed composition of crossbred animals, verify purity of purebred animals and match data with appropriate genetics to select superior stocks for breeding.

Limited resources of genome sequencing in developing countries: Challenges and solutions

Accurate parentage and breed composition can be combined with performance data to enhance the selection progress. Along with cattle and buffalo, camel is an important animal for meat and milk in many countries and camel milk has been under increasing market demand.

Understanding the camel genome and its genetic composition will drive its further development for increased productivity. A radiation hybrid panel will enable whole genome mapping and catalyse the development of DNA marker based tools to implement effective breeding programmes for genetic improvement in camels. Knowledge of the genomic variation of individuals and sub-populations will usher in an era of personalized medicine, characterized by more accurate abilities to predict illness, prevent disease, promote health and allocate resources better at national levels.

It will also provide a better handle on disease susceptibility and on the likelihood of benefitting from drugs while avoiding harmful reactions to them. For individuals, genomic medicine holds the promise of personalized therapies. Even today we have genetic tests for patients taking anti-HIV medication that can predict if they will have serious or even lethal reactions to those medications.

Genomics knowledge, including knowledge of genomic sequences of pathogens and their vectors, will facilitate development of better drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. The case studies revealed six major cross-cutting themes underlying initiatives in all four countries studied: political will, institutional leadership, the goal of producing local health benefits, protecting genomic sovereignty, and promoting economic benefits. The authors describe what motivated the four countries to undertake these genomics initiatives, the mechanisms being used to develop genomic medicine appropriate to their circumstances, the potential for commercializing research results, and how challenges are being addressed, including ethical, legal, social and cultural issues that have either arisen or may arise.

The authors say the insights chronicled will be of particular interest to developing world policy-makers especially in science and technology, industry and commerce, and health ministries ; legislators considering research funding; leaders of research institutions; individual scientists; investors and small and medium private sector enterprises in both industrialized and developing countries, and international organizations interested in the use of science and technology to accelerate global health equity, health security and economic development.

As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others

It has genotyped over 1, people from different regions of Mexico, triggering a series of studies looking at possible relationships between genetic make-up and such health problems as macular degeneration, hypertension, obesity, infectious diseases, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases the latter three representing Mexico's top causes of death. The case study of India which included additional co-authors Dr. Samir K. Brahmachari of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India , says the idea of personalized therapeutics based on individual variation has existed for more than 4, years in India's traditional practice of Ayurveda medicine.

Four millennia later, a new national databank contains genetic samples from about 15, unrelated individuals from India's diverse geographic and linguistic subpopulations. The Parsis, thought to be genetically homogenous, are feared to be at risk owing to their religious prohibition of marriage outside of the community. The aim is to determine linkages between genes, disease and environmental factors and develop new therapies and diagnostics, with a focus on chronic diseases, such as cancer and central nervous system disorders, that can be used to directly benefit the Parsi population, with an additional potential to be marketed globally where appropriate.

If the nonresponder cases can be explained by genomic variation, better tailored treatments could potentially be devised, according to the paper. A new Thai database will help authorities look for gene-disease associations, including genetic susceptibility to malaria and dengue fever. One project has collected 1, samples from patients and healthy Thais throughout the country; another is working with 3, samples from victims of the tsunami who experienced posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD.

An example mentioned in the Thai case study is that of patients undergoing kidney transplantation who would benefit from pharmacogenetic testing to prevent adverse reactions to azathioprine, a commonly used drug to stop organ rejection. Sub-Saharan Africa, where modern humans arose, is home to a wealth of human genetic, linguistic and cultural diversity, according to the South African case study, the authors of which included Dr. Raj Ramesar of the University of Cape Town.

Genomic and Molecular Cardiology

South Africa, with its rich ethnic diversity and many isolated populations, has a unique research advantage and is beginning to apply genomics to address local health needs, including HIV and tuberculosis, two leading causes behind its low life expectancies — 50 for men and 53 for women — and its economic problems.

Researchers are studying human genomic diversity using biological samples from several indigenous tribes in Southern Africa — Zulu, Xhosa, Herero, San and Sotho-Tswana. Although this study does not look at disease genes per se, it will provide data on baseline variation across these populations. The South African government is also considering a proposal for a national genomic medicine research programme with three components: characterization of human genomic variation within the South African populations, identification of the genomic basis of susceptibility to common diseases both chronic and infectious and pharmacogenomics.

Mexico recently enacted genomic sovereignty legislation in response to reports of foreign researchers attempting to obtain blood samples from Mexican subjects, including indigenous groups, without official approval. This "safari research" fuelled concerns that neither the research participants nor the general Mexican population would benefit from such research.

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In India, guidelines restrict the export of human samples. They were created amid similar worries about foreign exploitation of India's large population resource, with its multi-generational endogamous families and well maintained genealogical records.

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There is an ethical aspect to this work as well. In this regard, the developing countries in order to implement of "genomic sovereignty" should establish regulations in the field of controlling and the access to national human genetic resources. Schrijver N. Appl Transl Genom. Over professionals have applied for 30 positions. Lopez-Correa has published 9 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals on topics ranging from human genomics to genomic medicine implementation and molecular pathology.

One fifth of the global population lives in India and thus a significant amount of human genomic variation can be found there among its various populations. Many of those took part in the study noted the delicate balancing act required to protect genomic sovereignty while fostering international collaborations that can provide much needed financing and potentially contribute to local scientific capacity building. The concluding paper in the series was co-authored by the MRC team and Dr.

Food and Drug Administration, as well as Dr. It looks at challenges and opportuntites for developing coountries and emerging economies as the era of genomic medicine and health approaches. It also identified potential next steps for those already on the journey, and potential entry points for those contemplating getting on board. These achievements should allow other researchers to develop both preventative and treatment techniques that have pinpoint accuracy for a wide range of afflictions.

The Report is an important first step towards this goal.

Edited by Dhavendra Kumar

Editors: Nelson, Karen E., Jones-Nelson, Barbara (Eds.) This book evolved from the editors strong belief that the information and new developments that were evolving from the rapidly growing field of genomics and that are happening primarily in the developed world have not. Genomics Applications for the Developing World evolved from an observed need for information on genomics and other related “omics' technologies that are.

Weatherall says. DNA research is underway on a number of projects that can improve health care in developing countries, with some projects already yielding results. Among the research mentioned in the report are:. Creating a new designer mosquito that cannot carry the malaria parasite, one of the biggest killers in the developing world. Rapid identification of a class of anti-malarial drugs that have the potential to be effective against multi-drug—resistant parasites, as well as being inexpensive and stable.

A combination of malaria parasite DNA sequencing, bioinformatics use of computer technology to store, analyze and interpret biological data- , and data mining searching for comparative genomic data have been instrumental in the creation of these drugs. Two new types of vaccines derived from genetic research have been developed against tuberculosis, which is spreading in both developing and developed countries.

Clinical trials of one of these vaccines has already started. The diagnosis of leishmaniasis and dengue fever, both pandemic in some Latin American countries, has already been improved by the use of polymerase chain reaction techniques — one of the basic techniques in DNA research.