Stephanie Richurk, a nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, sorts blood samples collected from participants in the "All of Us" research program in Pittsburgh Aug. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Dake Kang, File)
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WASHINGTON: Wanted: A million people willing to share their DNA and 10 years of health habits, big and small, for science.Most of today's medical care is based on what happened to the average person in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients with a specific health condition.And most people who volunteer for those studies are white, leaving questions about the best care for people of different races.While there are other big "biobanks" of genetic data from at least 100,000 people, the NIH project aims to be the largest and most diverse of its kind. At least half of the participants must be from groups traditionally under-represented in medical research, Collins stressed.Other factors can increase or reduce some genetic risks.Still, "we will try to help their doctors sort through what it means," Collins said.One result that might bring a quick benefit: Genetic variants can signal who is prone to side effects from more than 100 drugs, information that could be used to prescribe a safer drug if only their doctors knew, Collins added.
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