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China-US scientists sequence Mongolian genome

Last Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 19:25

Beijing: Scientists from China and the US have completed sequencing the genome of Mongolians living in northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai and the findings were expected help to treat altitude-related diseases.
The sequencing and drafting of the genome was published Thursday in the science journal PLoS Genetics.

The research is expected to aid in the treatment of altitude-related diseases, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

A team consisting of researchers from the Medical College of Qinghai University and the University of Utah spent four years sequencing the genome.

The team studied 42 Mongolians living at an altitude of 3,000 meters and compared them with 300 people of nine populations from elsewhere in Asia and Europe.

More than 300 genes, or two percent of the genome, varied greatly from those of other populations and helped the Mongolians adapt to the region`s plateau environment, said Gerili, director of the Research Center for High Altitude Medicine at Qinghai University.

The findings will aid in the understanding of the body`s low-oxygen response system and help researchers find new ways to prevent and treat high-altitude sickness and other illnesses that occur in low-oxygen environments, Gerili said.

Gerili said the team found that the Mongolians of Qinghai share some genes with Tibetans, adding that cross-ethnic communication with Tibetans also helped the Mongolians adapt to their environment.


First Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 19:25

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