Qatar launches gene mapping to combat diseases

The Gulf state of Qatar on Tuesday launched a genetic code mapping project for its small population to help in treating diseases.

The "Qatar Genome" project is a " for future treatment," said Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the wife of the former emir, at the opening of the World Innovation Summit for Health in Doha.

"Innovation is not only in finding a new medicine, it is in finding solutions to reduce the need for taking the medicine," she said.

Qatar has a population of 2.1 million, including some 300,000 Qatari nationals.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday launching a mapping project aimed at identifying the basis of chronic diseases prevalent in the desert kingdom.

The Saudi programme will work over five years on sequencing 100,000 human genomes to study both normal and disease-associated genes specific to the Saudi population.

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