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Team Claims ‘World`s Most Accurate’ Genome Map

Posted July. 09, 2009 07:39,   


A research team at Seoul National University yesterday said it has completed the most accurate genome map in the world.

A genome map is a presentation of a human’s base sequences such as adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine through the complete deciphering of an individual’s genomes.

Professor Seo Jeong-seon at the university’s Genomic Medical Research Institute told a news conference, “A 30-something healthy man’s genomes have been completely sequenced,” adding, “Korea is the fourth country to have completed an individual’s genome map after the U.S., Britain and China.”

Just six people in the world have had their genomes sequenced in the world, including DNA co-discoverer James Watson. Seo’s study will be published in the July 9 issue of Nature.

The characteristic of the new genomic map is the accuracy of analysis that has increased as high as 99.94 percent. To this end, the research team conducted sequencing (analysis of base sequence) of the Korean man (AK1) on more than 30 occasions. In the number of bases, as many as 90 billion of them have been deciphered. The 20th chromosome was analyzed 150 times on average.

Seo said, “Only when the genome map is accurate can customized medicine for an individual be made available.”

The announcement, however, is likely to fuel a dispute over who was the first to have completed a genome map in Korea. Professor Kim Seong-jin, director of the Lee Gil-ya Cancer and Diabetes Research Institute at Gachon University of Medicine and Science in Incheon, completed a genome map in December last year and published it in the international journal Genome Research.

Seo said, “Since the accuracy is inadequate, (Kim’s) map cannot be considered Korea’s first.”

Gachon professor Ahn Seong-min refuted Seo’s claim, however, saying, “Professor Kim’s genomes were analyzed 29 times and the map is no less accurate than Professor Seo’s.”