The Indian-American population here, with origins in Gujarat, is one of the seven population groups added to the third phase of the HapMap human genetic mapping project.

The project aims at finding genetic variants associated with complex diseases.

The new map is the third generation of what has been dubbed the HapMap (haplotype map) of the human genome.

It includes data from an additional seven global populations, bringing the total number to 11 populations, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) said in a statement.

The increased number of samples allows detection of variants that are much rarer than could be found by the earlier HapMaps.

99 per cent same

All humans are more than 99 per cent the same at the genetic level, but the small fraction of genetic material that varies among people can help explain individual susceptibility to disease, responses to drugs or reactions to environmental factors, researchers say.

HapMap leaders wanted people, who donated samples to be used in the DNA analysis, to understand the project and how the samples would be used, said Dr. Richard Sharp, a former Baylor College of Medicine ethicist who is now at the Cleveland clinic. — PTI

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