NHS pushes for major multi-site genomics project

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) is embarking on an ambitious gene-sequencing project with 11 genomics institutions in England. The objective is to find targeted treatments for a spectrum of illnesses.

Researchers are preparing to sequence 100,000 genomes in three years in order to propel new diagnostics and drug discovery. As many as 25,000 cancer patients could have their genetic code matched to that of their tumors to find important biomarkers of disease.

"It's possible to sequence an individual's entire genetic make-up, their genome, in merely a few days where five years ago that was completely unimaginable,” said Graeme Black, PhD, head of the project in Manchester, in this BBC report.