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Britain launches genome database for patients' DNA

Published on Dec 10, 2012 8:41 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Up to 100,000 Britons suffering from cancer and rare diseases are to have their genetic codes fully sequenced and mapped as part of government plans to build a DNA database to boost drug discovery and development.

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that he wanted Britain to "push the boundaries" of scientific research by being the first country to introduce genetic sequencing into a mainstream health service.

His government has set aside 100 million pounds (S$196 million) for the project in the taxpayer-funded National Health Service (NHS) over the next three to five years.

"Britain has often led the world in scientific breakthroughs and medical innovations, from the first CT scan and test-tube baby through to decoding DNA," he said in a statement.

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