Syllabus: Science and Technology
WHO’s Science Council launches report calling for an equitable expansion of genomics. (This article is in continuation of the previous one on CRISPR Gene editing)
Genomics is the study of the complete set of DNA (including all of its genes) in a person or other organism. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA.
- Expand access: The report calls for expanding access to genomic technologies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), by addressing shortfalls in the financing, laboratory infrastructure, materials, and highly trained personnel.
- Tools used for equitable access: E.g. tiered pricing; sharing of intellectual property rights for low-cost versions; and cross-subsidization, whereby profits in one area are used to fund another.
- Ethics: It argues that it is not justifiable ethically or scientifically for less-resourced countries to gain access to such technologies long after rich countries do.
- Recommends WHO create a Genomics Committee for implementation of its recommendations
- Advocacy for genomics: It is needed to persuade governments and other actors about the benefits of genomic technologies.
- Implementation: Local planning, financing, expanded training of essential personnel
- Collaborations: Between Government ministries, funding agencies, and scientific organizations in academia and industry.
- Effective oversight and standards: It is key to promoting ethical, legal, equitable use and responsible sharing of information obtained with genomic methods.
- WHO’s a 10-year strategy for genomic surveillance of pathogens.
- GenomeIndia (Department of Biotechnology): cataloguing the Genetic variation in Indian
- IndiGen Program (CSIR): Collectwhole genome sequences from different populations in India
- INSACOG: Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium