Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Africa Genome Education Institute - 180 genomes sequenced

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The Africa Genome Education Institute is devoted to the public understanding of genomes, which are the genetic instructions contained in the cells of living organisms. Over 180 genomes have been sequenced (biochemically described) thus far, including the one for modern human beings.

The AGEI works in three areas: firstly, the Living History Project, which seeks to trace the ancestral geographic origins of South Africans by looking at specific segments of an individual's genome. Secondly, the Colour of Our Skins Project, which is an effort to communicate the most current evolutionary biological science on skin (and hair) pigmentation to the public and especially to children of school-going age; and thirdly, a project to build interdisciplinary support for biotechnology and genetics in Africa, a continent-wide enterprise to support practising scientists to deal with the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic modification.

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