Dubai launches human genome project to prevent genetic, chronic diseases

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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) launched the human genome project on Saturday which perfects gene scanning to help decrease chronic and genetic diseases, Khaleej Times reported.

The project comes as part of the Dubai 10X initiative, launched at the World Government Summit by Dubai’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, which aims to put Dubai 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in several sectors including health and tourism.


“The authority is looking to target all residents of the emirate of Dubai, focusing on UAE nationals in the first phase of implementation,” Humaid Mohammed al-Qatami, director general of the DHA told the newspaper.

“The project's timetable extends over 24 months, during which we will be collecting samples, analyzing DNA sequences, and recording the results in the data bank,” he added.

The project will be able to detect chromosomes, genes and proteins which will allow for the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, as well as genetic diseases.

According to Khaleej Times, the DHA created a committee of genetic experts to ensure the project is completed efficiently and on time. They have also mandated a few of their affiliate organizations, like the department of pathology and genetics and the Dubai Cord Blood and Research Center.

“Forming genome laboratories in Dubai signals a new phase, where our forecasts for the future of the health and medical services sector begin to materialize. The labs will establish the first national genetic database for future research, lending support to decision-makers as they set plans and strategies for the future of the healthcare sector. This, in turn, ensures Dubai's global competitiveness and strengthens the knowledge economy,” the newspaper reported al-Qatami as saying.

26 innovative projects presented by 24 government bodies were accepted under the 10X Initiative out of a total of 160 projects submitted. These were analyzed by a panel of experts and Sheikh Hamdan.

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