What is UK10K?
The UK10K project will enable researchers in the UK and beyond to better understand the link between low-frequency and rare genetic changes, and human disease caused by harmful changes to the proteins the body makes.
Wellcome Library, London
Although many hundreds of genes that are involved in causing disease have already been identified, it is believed that many more remain to be discovered. The UK10K project aims to help uncover them by studying the genetic code of 10,000 people in much finer detail than ever before.
Not all genetic changes are harmful or lead to disease, so the project is taking a two-pronged approach to identify rare variants and their effects:
- by studying and comparing the DNA of 4,000 people whose physical characteristics are well documented, the project aims to identify those changes that have no discernible effect and those that may be linked to a particular disease;
- by studying the changes within protein-coding areas of DNA that tell the body how to make proteins of 6,000 people with extreme health problems and comparing them with the first group, it is hoped to find only those changes in DNA that are responsible for the particular health problems observed.
The project received a £10.5 million funding award from Wellcome in March 2010 and sequencing started in late 2010. For more information, please use the links on the right hand side.