Genomics England opens Diverse Data initiative

Genomics England has opened a call for contributors who want to express their interest in genomic sequencing projects with under-served communities and help address gaps in datasets.

Entitled the ‘Diverse Data initiative’, the aim is to minimise inequalities in genomic medicine and address the imbalances in data, with a focus on ancestral imbalance.

The objective is to gather participants such as charities advocating for better treatments for a genetic condition or a principal investigator of a study that collected blood samples from participants from a range of ethnicities recently.

By completing a sequencing study, Genomics England are hoping to address the need for clinical research to help marginalised communities. If successful, data will be then shared with other partners for it to be proposed for acceptance in the research community.

This expression of interest closes on July 21, 2022. You can view the full diverse data initiative here.

In recent news from Genomics England, the organisation announced the results of a study into thousands of tumours from NHS patients on the causes of cancer. A team of scientists led by Professor Serena Nik-Zainal from Cambridge University Hospitals and University of Cambridge, analysed the complete genetic make-up or whole-genome sequences of more than 12,000 NHS cancer patients.

The researchers said: “they were able to detect patterns in the DNA of cancer, helping to provide clues about whether a patient has had a past exposure to environmental causes of cancer such as smoking or UV light, or has internal, cellular malfunctions. The team were also able to spot 58 new mutational signatures, suggesting that there are additional causes of cancer that we don’t yet fully understand.”

This research was supported by Cancer Research UK and published today in the journal Science.