Avesthagen initiates Parsi genome project

Avestha Gengraine Technologies (Avesthagen), a Bangalore-based integrated biotech company, has launched ‘Avestagenome’, a project to build a complete genetic, genealogical and medical database of the Parsi community.

According to Villoo Morawala Patell, founder and managing director, Avesthagen, the project is biotechnology-driven and would aim to come up with therapies and diagnostic tools to understand linkages between genes, diseases and environmental factors.

“The comprehensive database arising out of the project will provide invaluable information on these linkages for all of humanity and not just for the Parsi community. The project results will find application in disease prediction and accelerate the development of new therapies and diagnostics,” she added.

Parsi Zoroastrians, who now number about 69,000 in India, are an in-bred population resulting from the discouragement of inter-community marriages. Such in-bred populations are required to pinpoint inherited genes for diseases.

The Rs 125-crore project is expected to be completed in five years and is being implemented by a body of eminent stakeholders and opinion leaders within the Parsi community comprising leading industrialists, clinicians, scientists and others.

Avesthagen will bring in seed capital in the form of its high throughput genomics and bioinformatics facilities and other special expertise.

Villoo Patell said that Avesthagen and its partners will collect samples from members of the community along with a complete genealogical and medical information. The samples will be processed at the genomics facility at Avesthagen.

The facility is equipped with high-speed polymorphism analysis systems (Sequenom, USA’s MassARRAY) and ABI sequencers to identify the causative genes. The data will be statistically analysed through Avesthagen’s bio-informatics channels for processing and creating the database.

Original article here

  • Afshin

    Be Yari Ahura Mazda
    I am a Zoroastrian from Iran and I have some genetic knowledge because of my course in university. With some search about, I found that the census number of Zoroastrian in Iran is 19823 and we have very large migration about. This small number and migration can cause very low effective population size through time and the genetic defects can be very large. I decide to study on the genetic structure of Zoroastrian in Iran therefore I seek through internet and found your project (Avesthagen). I am very glad that you do this in India for the Parsis. But the gene pool of India is from Iran (i.e.The Parsis of Pakistan India are descendants of Zoroastrians from Iran who fled to Gujarat in India after the Arab invasion in 900 AD.)
    Do you have any intent for genetic analysis of Iran’s Zoroastrin?
    Do you have any suggestions?
    Have a good research

  • Jamshed Bilimoria

    ever since the genome theory was propogated i have been interested as it promised much in the future , by studying the getetic codes imbedded in the genes.

    Other than revealing the secrets of physical traits and “nature” of individuals.. what i wait for is the secrets of the sub conscious mind being revealed .. psychic traits we carry forward from past lives .. resulting in who we are at present … and much much more..