In a major step toward an era of personalized medicine, researchers 1000 Genomes Project,  involving 700 scientists from laboratories in the U.S., Canada (including researchers in Québec), China, Japan, Nigeria and Kenya, among others, reported (ref Nature) that they have sequenced the complete DNA material of more than 1,000 people from 14 population groups in Europe, Africa, East Asia and the Americas.

Their results, published in Nature, offer the closest look yet at the differences in humankind’s biological instruction set, documenting how myriad rare mutations may underpin many diseases and set the people of one locale apart from another in ways that shape their health.

The scientists identified 38 million variations in the chemical letters of DNA that make up each of the average person’s 23,000 or so genes and the DNA regions that control them—about 98 percent of all the estimated human variation in the world.

Among the Canadian researchers implicated in the 1000 Genome Project:

Philip Awadalla et Bartha M. Knoppers.