23andMe Works Toward Improving Diversity in Genetic Research

23andMe has put in effort toward improving diversity in its genetic research. This includes their Global Genetics Project and their Populations Collaborations Program. The goal is not only to help diversify 23andMe’s research database, but also to drive inclusion of understudied populations.

23andMe points out that currently, more than 90 percent of research into the genetics of underlying health conditions is in individuals of European descent alone. This means there is a need for more diversity in genetic research.

The Global Genetics Project is being conducted for two main reasons. One is to improve 23andMe’s ability to provide detailed ancestry results for 23andMe customers with non-European ancestry. The other is to contribute to general knowledge of how people migrated throughout the world over the last few thousand years.

The Global Genetics Project was launched in early 2018. It aims to enroll more than 10,000 people over two years from communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas who are not currently well represented in genetic research.

The Populations Collaborations Program aims to expand and improve 23andMe’s Reference Data Panel through capturing the genetic diversity of populations around the world who are underrepresented in their database and in genetics research globally. By genotyping samples from these populations, 23andMe will support researchers who are working with understudied populations and thereby expand genomic studies to be more inclusive.

In addition, 23andMe researchers have been working with the National Genome Research Institute on an African American Sequencing Project. The goal is to create a new reference panel for health studies by qualified researchers around the world.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* 23andMe has a Populations Collaborations Program

* 23andMe Launches the Global Genetics Project

* 23andMe Expands Ancestry Composition – Adds 120 Regions

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