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£100m project to map DNA

Up to 100,000 patients with cancer and rare diseases are to have their DNA fully mapped as part of a drive to revolutionise NHS treatment.

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How DNA mapping will be funded

  • The £100 million will go on training genetic scientists, mapping patients' DNA, and creating systems for handling the information.
  • The project that first sequenced a human genome in 2000 cost around £500m, but technical advances mean the bill has dropped dramatically to under £1,000 per person.
  • Officials believe allocating NHS funds to mapping 100,000 people's codes will drive down costs even further by "priming the pump".
  • Patients will be asked for permission before their DNA is sequenced, and data will be anonymised before it is stored.
  • The Government also announced that £100 million of new science funding allocated in the Autumn Statement would go to life sciences.
  • The money will help build research capabilities for synthetic biology, facilities for manufacturing cell and biologic medicines such as antibodies and vaccines.

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