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Some 15,000 genetic passports issued in Belarus

Society 14.08.2019 | 14:42
Photo from Pixabay
Photo from Pixabay

MINSK, 14 August (BelTA) – Some 15,000 genetic passports have been issued in Belarus, BelTA learned from the press service of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB).

“A genetic passport is a person's genetic identity card. Genes greatly determine not only our looks and abilities, but also our health. Therefore, it is crucial to establish whether a person will develop certain diseases in later life. If these diseases also depend on lifestyle factors, a person can take measures to prevent them. This is a guide for action. Today the 15,000th genetic passport has been presented to a 37-year old Minsker Yekaterina Astakhova at the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The passport contains the complete genome sequence,” the press service informed.

Genetic passports for citizens of Belarus and other countries have been issued by the National Center for Genome Biotechnology of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the NASB since 2010. The center carries out genetic tests to determine the risk of developing certain diseases, like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome. The most common reason for doing a genetic test is to find out causes of miscarriage. A great number of genetic passports have been issued to women suffering from pregnancy loss. A genetic analysis in this case allows identifying individual response to certain drugs.

Genetic tests are also done to assess athletic performance characteristics. It is an important tool of talent selection in sport. More than 500 athletes representing 30 national Olympic teams have already been tested in Belarus. A DNA data-bank of elite athletes has been created. Genetic passports are issued for both professional and fledging athletes. Genetic testing can also predict athletic performance in children and help identify their potential to excel in a particular sport.

The National Center for Genome Biotechnology of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the NASB is the only one in the CIS that has international accreditation in the field of genetic analysis.

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