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UVA Researchers Say Critical Health Information for Half the World Insufficient

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Aakrosh Ratan, a UVA researcher, is working on a new genetic mapping project. (Charles Fishburne/ VPM)

As the World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global emergency, researchers at the University of Virginia are working on a massive genetic database they say will help detect and treat diseases in the future.

Researchers from dozens of institutions around the world, including the University of Virginia School of Medicine, plan to examine the genes and DNA of 100 thousand people across Asia.

The database will be used to “facilitate precision medicine in that region,” said Aakrosh Ratan, a researcher at UVA. “Under representation of Asian populations in genetic studies means that the medical relevance for these analyses and studies and results is reduced for more than half the world’s population.”

Ratan adds a more complete and comprehensive database will improve health outcomes in both Asia and the rest of the world.

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