GenOMICC Project

 

Context:

Scientists in the United Kingdom as part of a research project, GenOMICC (Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care), have identified 16 new genetic variants that make a person more susceptible to a severe COVID-19 infection.

 

About:

  • The GenOMICC project is a research study that brings together clinicians and scientists from around the world to find the genetic factors that lead to critical illnesses.
  • While millions suffer from infectious diseases every year, even though most cases are mild, some people become extremely unwell and need critical care.
  • This may be because of their genes and the GenOMICC project is about identifying them.
  • The scientists involved compare the DNA of critically-ill patients with members of the general population.
  • However, ferreting out such differences requires a large number of people and comparing their genetic structures at multiple levels of resolution.

 

What is done?

  • The scientists involved compare the DNA of critically-ill patients with members of the general population.
  • However, ferreting out such differences requires a large number of people and comparing their genetic structures at multiple levels of resolution.
  • Since 2015, the GenOMICC has been studying emerging infections such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), flu, sepsis, and other forms of critical illness.
  • The overarching aim of genome association studies is to not only correlate genes but also design treatments. For instance, the knowledge that interferons play a role in mediating a severe infection is already being used in drug therapies in the management of severe COVID.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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