The human body carries up to 100 of the genes that are responsible for diseases such as cancer and diabetes, a new study has revealed. It is hoped the research will provide an understanding of why some people are more susceptible to disease than others.
The 1,000 Genomes Project involves scientists from around the world who have analysed our minute genetic differences, and compiled a list of genetic faults, which shows that we have about 300 genes that don’t work at all.
Findings from the initial stage of the research, where they assessed the DNA of over 800 volunteers, have been published in Nature and Science . They explain that each person has on average about 75 to 100 genes that are linked to inherited diseases, although often they don’t cause people carrying the disease to become ill themselves.
The human genome is estimated to contain up to 25,000 genes in total, and the project intends to sequence the DNA of 2,500 participants in the next two years, while globally more than 2,700 people have had their DNA sequenced since the decoding of the first human genomes 10 years ago.
Dr David Altshuler, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Bosto, commented “In the long-run this is a very valuable and promising approach to learn new things about the basis of disease and if we do that as a field and then biological follow-up occurs this has promise to contribute to improvements in human health .”

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