Baylor University scientists say their genealogy database could provide medicines for the millions of people in the world without access to generic versions.
Scientists say they’re already working on ways to build new versions of the “Invitac” genealogical database, which tracks all people who are part of the genealogy of the founders of the United States.
“We are looking at using our genealogies to identify and identify the people who were involved in this country before we started to put together our genealogy,” said Dr. David Pyle, a professor of genetics and biochemistry at Baylor.
“What we’re hoping to do is provide a genealogy tool for a broader population that may not have access to genealogy services.”
The genetic database is already used to identify diseases, though, as well as identify the genetic ancestry of millions of individuals in the United Kingdom.
The database contains about 1 billion genetic profiles.
The scientists say the database could also be used by pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for people who have inherited certain genetic diseases.
In the case of cancer, the researchers say their database could help drug companies identify patients who may not otherwise have the genetic capacity to develop or use a drug.
The database is currently used by the U.K.’s National Health Service, and is a critical part of a national genetic database that tracks about 10 million people in Britain, the United Nations and elsewhere.
It is a public-private partnership, meaning private companies contribute their genetic information to the database.
The researchers said they have already started work on the database, and that they’re excited to build a public version that will become available to anyone.
Pyle said the database would be an ideal tool for the developing world, where people are still developing their understanding of their ancestry.
“In the developing countries, we have people who don’t have access at all to genealogy services.
If you have access, it would be amazing if you could identify the person who is actually the father of your child,” Pyle said.
For people in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the genealogic database is particularly important, as many of the genetic markers that determine health and disease are in that region.
Currently, there are no publicly available genealogetic databases in these areas, so the scientists say they plan to build the new database to meet the needs of the developing population.
The team hopes to use the database to identify people with rare diseases or genetic diseases that are still not well understood.
“There are about 2.5 million people on the African continent that have no known genealogy, but are potentially more than one billion people that have some genetic variation,” Pyles said.
“We’re hoping that we can identify these people and develop a database that could help identify them.”
For more information on the genetic database, visit the Baylor University website.