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The 100,000 Genomes Project is a £300million scheme to sequence the genetic codes of 75,000 people; NHS patients with cancer or rare genetic diseases and their close family members.
NHS England has set up 11 genomic medicine centres at a cost of about £20million to recruit and test the first volunteers. Eventually, there will be more than 100 centres across England.
It is going to be stored in two databases, probably on computers located at the Sanger Institute campus in Cambridge.
Scientists hope that it will lead to a better understanding of the genetic causes of disease. Drug companies hope to develop new diagnostic tests and, in the longer term, new drugs and treatments.
The NHS is better equipped for the emerging science that will determine the future practice of medicine than any other Western health care system.