US genome whiz plans to treat age-related diseases

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Johannesburg: American scientist Craig Venter, who raced the US government to map the human genome over 10-years ago, is now on a quest to treat age-related diseases.

Venter, who has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis to form Human Longevity , which will use both genomics and stem cell therapies to find treatments for aging adults to lead a healthy and functional life, reported.

Venter said that they are hoping to make numerous new discoveries in preventive medicine and it will have a huge impact on changing the cost of medicine.

The company will not only map 40 000 human genomes in a push to build the world's largest database of human genetic variation, but also collect genetic data on the trillions of microbes - including bacteria, viruses and fungi - living in and on humans.

The company's initial treatment targets are diseases such as cancer, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver diseases, and dementia.

The researchers hopes to develop better probiotics as well as better diagnostics and drugs to improve health and wellness by understanding the microbiomes in the gut, in the mouth, on the skin and other sites on the body.

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