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China completes Mongolian group genome mapping


14:30, March 11, 2013

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) - Chinese scientists have completed the group genome mapping of the Mongolian people, making them the first Chinese ethnic minority to have their group genome drawn, a political advisor said Sunday.

The group genome samples came from 200 selected volunteers from four Mongolian tribes, Zhou Huanmin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, told Xinhua News Agency in an interview.

The achievement will reveal the secrets of the Mongolians in terms of their genome features, genetic variations and the evolution of the ethnic group, said Zhou, a professor at Inner Mongolia Agriculture University and the head of a key biotechnology lab in Inner Mongolia.

"Chinese scientists have independently drawn the group genome map for the Mongolians using self-owned intellectual properties," said Zhou.

The achievement shows that China has elevated its level of research in anthropology, ethnology and genetics. The map will help Mongolians "bear and rear" healthier children, as well as improve the health of the ethnic group in the future. It will also help to promote personalized healthcare options, Zhou said.

In the evolutionary process, each ethnic line has formed its own properties in heredity and phenotype. Different ethnic groups show considerable differences in the types and incidence of genetically-determined diseases.

"By analyzing the genome mapping, we may find out our genetic characteristics, merits and disadvantages. It plays a big role in the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of diseases," said Zhou.

Through analyzing the genome, scientists may be able to identify those most at risk for genetic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, schizophrenia, depression and cancer, enabling them to receive preventative care and advance treatment, he added.

In November 2007, Chinese scientists announced that they had finished drawing the first integral genome map for the Chinese Han nationality.

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