The Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar According to local media, that the launch of the project is the establishment of the Egyptian Genome Center, under the umbrella of the Academy of Scientific Research. Pointing out that the project is one of the greatest exploration works in history and no scientific discovery has been matched over the ages.
A number of scientific and executive bodies in the Egyptian state are participating in the project, represented by the ministries of defense, health and communications, more than 15 universities, research centers and civil society institutions, and according to the executive plan, the implementation of the project will end at the end of 2025, at an initial cost of up to 2 billion pounds ($ 128 million). ).
In the same context, Dr. Mahmoud Saqr President said Academy of Scientific Research and Technology The Academy prepared the Human Genome Project for Egyptians, its goals, implementation mechanism and implementation plan in June 2020.
Saqr added in an official statement that the project aims to establish Egyptian Genome Center, Which will be a national laboratory specialized in genome research and hosted by the Center for Research and Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Defense after a competitive announcement, with the participation of all Egyptian research bodies with experience in Genomics.
What is the reference genome?
A reference genome (also known as a reference assembly) is a digital database of DNA sequences, compiled by scientists as a representative example of a gene set in a single organism that is perfect for a species. Finally, the reference genome resembles a mosaic and does not represent any individual, but rather defines generic traits For ethnics and ethnicities.
In this regard, Dr. Sameh Sorour, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Helwan University and a member of the scientific committee of the Egyptian Genome Project, says that the DNA of all humans is 99 percent similar, but the remaining 1 percent is what makes each ethnic group of humans have different characteristics from the others. .
In exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia, Sorour added that there are many studies published in recent scientific periodicals, including recently a study conducted by the American University of Beirut, and another prepared by Mansoura University in cooperation with a German university.
But Dr. Sameh believes that all these studies are ultimately inaccurate, because Scientific facts In this field, extensive surveys and analysis are required to arrive at coherent scientific information.
Strengthening the health system
The member of the scientific committee points out that the importance of the project does not stop only when determining the extent of the relationship of Egyptians to other races and ethnicities, but the most important thing is what the project represents in determining the suitability of medicines for Egyptians, especially that humanity is on the verge of the era of personal medicine.
Personalized medicine is a medical paradigm that divides people into different groups that help improve medical decisions and interventions, as well as treatment products specifically designed for the patient based on the expected response or risk of disease.
Here, Sorour explains, that the reference genome project helps us understand what distinguishes Egyptians from others in responding to different drugs, and how to contract diseases, which ultimately concerns us and supports The Egyptian health system Positively.
Sorour says that the most important characteristic of the Egyptian Reference Genome Project is the study of the reference genome of the ancient Egyptians, especially since the Pharaonic civilization is the first in history, and understanding the genome structure helps in discovering some of the ancestral secrets.
He continues: “It is possible to understand the nature of the diseases that afflicted the ancient Egyptians, and the state of health, from the diseases that afflicted them during that period,” indicating that this process will be more like a process of scientific history of that great civilization, which is something that no other country has.
Regarding the scientific methodology to be followed in this project, Dr. Sameh Sorour said that the project aims to obtain random samples, representative of all categories of the Egyptian people from all geographical regions. Pointing out that the project will rely on 100,000 samples from the Egyptian people.
The member of the scientific committee of the project elaborates on the scientific methodology in his speech to Sky News Arabia, explaining that the beginning will be by obtaining samples from healthy people, and we build Genome Database Egyptian reference.
“In another stage, we take samples from people with all diseases, then we study their genome, and compare it with the reference genome that was reached from healthy people, which helps us understand the nature of the interaction of the Egyptian bodies with diseases, and thus reach effective treatments.”
Dr. Sameh Sorour concluded his speech to Sky News Arabia, by noting that the Egyptian project is not the first of its kind, but it is the largest in Africa, pointing out that there are sister Arab countries that preceded it, such as: UAE Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
He explains that the United States of America was the first to launch the global, international reference genome project, pointing out that it achieved huge financial returns from this project, for every dollar spent on it brought 175 dollars in return in the form of economic returns.
First reference genome project
The idea for the reference genome project was picked up by the US government in 1984, it was formally launched in 1990, and it was declared complete on April 14, 2003, and it remains the largest collaborative biological project in the world.
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international scientific research project aimed at identifying the base pairs that make up human DNA, identifying and mapping all genes of the human genome from a physical and functional point of view.
The project cost about $ 5 billion, and funding came from the United States government through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as many other groups from around the world.
A parallel project outside of government was implemented by Celera Corporation, or Celera Genomics, which was formally launched in 1998. Most of the government-sponsored sequencing was implemented in twenty universities and research centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and China.
Project aims The human genome Originally to map the nucleotides present in the human haploid reference genome (more than three billion). The ‘genome’ of any individual is unique. Mapping the “human genome” involved sequencing a small number of individuals and then pooling to obtain a complete sequence of each chromosome.